Skip to comments.The Burden of Belief [CBS's documents]
Posted on 09/13/2004 10:17:14 AM PDT by Know your rights
CBS has left the flap over purported documents involving President Bush's record in the Texas Air National Guard in this posture: Who are you going to believe, CBS or your lyin' eyes?
To accept CBS's insistence the four documents from the early 1970s are authentic, you would have to believe the following:
(1) That the late Jerry Killian, Bush's commanding officer, typed the documents--though his wife says "he wasn't a typist."
(2) That Killian kept the documents in his personal files--though his family says he didn't keep files.
(3) That the disputed documents reflect his true (negative) feelings about Bush and a contemporaneous official document he wrote lauding Bush did not.
(4) That he typed the documents on a technically advanced typewriter, an IBM Selectric Composer--though that model has been tested and failed to produce an exact copy of the documents.
(5) That this advanced typewriter, which would have cost $15,000 or so in today's dollars, was used by the Texas National Guard and that Killian had gained the significant expertise needed to operate it.
(6) That Killian was under pressure to whitewash Bush's record from a general who had retired 18 months earlier.
(7) That Killian's superior, Maj. Gen. Bobby Hodges, was right when, sight unseen, he supposedly said the documents were authentic, but wrong when, having actually viewed the documents, he declared them fraudulent.
Now if you can't accept all that, there's another side. To believe the documents are forgeries, you have to believe this:
(1) The documents were typed recently using Microsoft Word, which produces documents that are exact copies of the CBS documents.
(2) There's no number 2. All you have to believe is number 1.
In response to questions about the authenticity of the documents, CBS has acted more like an embattled political organization than a news operation. It has stonewalled rather than joined with skeptics in a search for the truth.
Last Friday, CBS anchor Dan Rather declared the document authentic and that no investigation by CBS was needed. He told the Washington Post: "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." In other words, it's not up to CBS to prove the authenticity of the documents. It's up to critics to prove otherwise, a twist on normal journalistic procedure. However, a CBS spokeswoman said on Sunday that the network "continues to work the story."
A forthright news organization would not impede the critics, but CBS has. It hasn't made its handwriting expert, Marcel Matley, available. Nor has it allowed the producer of the story, Mary Mapes, be interviewed by the press. And, so far as is known, CBS hasn't asked two of its sources in Texas, Robert Strong and Bill Burkett, to step forward and answer questions. Finally, CBS hasn't explained where the documents came from, though an explanation would be helpful after Killian's family said he didn't keep files.
Now that Matley's past writings have been unearthed, it is particularly important for CBS to make him available. But Matley told the Washington Post CBS had asked him not to give interviews. CBS relied on Matley as its chief authenticator of the documents, which are copies, not originals. But Matley seems to have violated his own rules.
Here's what he wrote in 2002 in a journal called The Practical Litigator:
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.
That, plus all the other the other evidence of a likely forgery, puts the ball back in CBS's court. Otherwise, you would be free to assume that scenario #2--that the documents were produced recently by a computer using Microsoft Word--is the correct one.
CBS Motto: "We swear to lie, tell all lies, and nothing but lies, so help us Terry McAwful."
It is a crime to attempt to swing an election by submitting false libel on a candidate.
The photocopy angle of this story is interesting too. In the early 70's photocopies were not as available as they are now. I remember taking typing class in 1973 and learning how to use carbon paper. If Killian really typed these memos, he would have kept the originals---not a 15th generation photocopy.
Contemplating his retirement, Dan trys out for theater playing
the role of Sophocles in "Three Wise Men of Gotham" and has the line "Since no one can prove that I am wrong I am sure to be right" stuck in his head.
Ya, redstone is on Line 1 - "Dan, good work. You keep distracting the public from the Swift Vets while I funnel more money to Kerry. We'll get through this don't worry."
It would be easy to test the originals. The letters on all documents printed on todays lazer printers can be scratched off with a knife.
A document in 1972 would have been created with real ink.
Maybe. Maybe not.
My MS Word memo
18 Aug memo with my MS Word memo overlaid.
Was Dick in Cambodia when he wrote that?
Have you seen this site? This expert seems to know his stuff! http://www.flounder.com/bush2.htm
You've got the "superscript th screen font" problem. Print out your Word document onto actual paper, then scan it back in -- the superscripted "th" will match up perfectly then.
This is giving CBS WAAAAAAY too much credit. What Hodges says he told CBS, was that IF Killian wrote that, it must be what he thought. He never opined that "the documents were authentic" -- how could he have, when he'd never seen them and didn't even know if they were handwritten or typed?
Good old fashioned common sense conservativism. Go Fred!
I was a copier repairman back in 1972/3 and I want to add another aspect to be investigated. I printed these docs out and compared them for "registration". They are indentical but that may not be relevant. I have been out of the business for years and years but back then we had a problem with lines on the edges of copies because of varying registration (paper entering the print area of the selinium drum where the actual image was then transferred to the paper would vary slightly) would leave a black line on the paper. The problem was solved by enlarging the image to overlap the actual size of the paper which solved the problem. This can be checked by holding the original up to overlay the copy and you can see that the line is slighlty longer on the copy than on the original. I am no longer in the business but it would be interesting to know if copies today are size for size and I believe they are.
If they are now size for size, then the "copies" were made recently which tells me the original still exists or existed after the advent of size for size copies.
I was only involved with one copier company so if another company had size for size back then I was unaware of it.
If the IBM Selectric Composer can duplicate the memo, it should be checked for size to see when the copy was made.
Also, all copiers leave "fingerprints" in the form of dirt or specks on the platin (glass) and defects in the printer image surface which show up as spots on the copies. It would be a clue to verify which copier it was printed on if one is ever found. Fingerprints are repeated after each copy process
I bring this up as "food for blogger thought" if someone has the time and means to investigate..
No! And neither was JF'nK!
I read a while back that when a polical candidate is made fun of, over and over, by all of the comics out there, he's finished. The same can be said of the MSM community. Dan has done the other 2 (ABC,NBC) no favors with this REALLY STUPID stunt. Everyone is making Dan the laughing stock of the media. He HAD to expect it... he paid more attention to Saddam than he did the SVB guys. Gotta love it. Payback's a real bitch ain't it Danny?
Also, does anyone have an image of the purported "other document" that contains the th that CBS cites to knock down that argument? I'm wondering if the "valid" th appears in a typeset letterhead and not in the body. Not that I wouldn't take CBS's word at face value :)
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