Skip to comments.Memos on Bush Are Fake but Accurate, Typist Says
Posted on 09/14/2004 7:57:30 PM PDT by Pikamax
September 15, 2004 Memos on Bush Are Fake but Accurate, Typist Says By THE NEW YORK TIMES
OUSTON, Sept. 14 - The secretary for the squadron commander purported to be the author of now-disputed memorandums questioning President Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard said Tuesday that she never typed the documents and believed they are fakes.
But she also said they accurately reflect the thoughts of the commander, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, and other memorandums she typed for him about Mr. Bush. "The information in them is correct," the woman, Marian Carr Knox, now 86, said in an interview at her home in Texas. "But I doubt,'' she said, pausing, "it's not anything that I wrote because there are terms in there that are not used by Guards, the format wasn't the way we did it. It looks like someone may have read the originals and put that together."
"We did discuss Bush's conduct and it was a problem Killian was concerned about," Mrs. Knox said. "I think he was writing the memos so there would be some record that he was aware of what was going on and what he had done." But, she said, words like "billets," which appear in the memorandums, were not standard Guard terms.
Mrs. Knox, who was the secretary for the squadron at Ellington Air Force Base from 1957 to 1979, said she recalled Mr. Bush's case and the criticism of him because his record was so unusual. Mr. Killian had her type memorandums recording the problems, she said, and he kept them in a private file under lock and key. Asked about her politics, she said she had never voted for Mr. Bush.
Mr. Killian died in 1984; his widow and son have said that they did not find any memorandums among the private effects they cleared from his office after his death. Mr. Killian's son, Gary, who also served at the squadron and who initially thought that the signatures on the documents matched his father's, has come to believe they are fakes, and said he doubted Mrs. Knox's account, though he recalled her fondly.
"She's a sweet old lady, but she's wrong and it didn't happen,'' he said. "I always thought well of her, and I know my dad would have also, but she's a sweet old lady.''
Mrs. Knox's comments add to the mystery around the four memorandums that were reported by CBS News last Wednesday, which indicated that Mr. Bush had been suspended from flying because he failed to meet standards and report for a physical examination, and that Mr. Killian felt pressure to "sugar coat" his rating because the young Lieutenant Bush, then the son of a congressman, was "talking to someone upstairs."
Executives at CBS said Tuesday that they continued to stand by their statements that they believe the documents are authentic, despite the new questions, and concern from others inside the network, and a report on ABC News that
two more experts whom CBS News had consulted to authenticate the documents for its report said they had expressed concerns about the documents' authenticity to the network's producers.
When questions about the documents first arose last week, the anchorman Dan Rather said at least four experts had helped convince the network of their authenticity.
But the network has continually declined to provide the name of more than one of those experts. That one, Marcel B. Matley, said in interviews that he validated only that the signature on the documents was Colonel Killian's. But, he said, he did not vouch for the documents themselves and could not rule out that the signature had been cut and pasted from onto the records from known documents of Mr. Killian.
Tuesday two more experts came forward and said they had been consulted by CBS. One, a forensic document examiner from Texas, Linda James, said in a telephone interview with The New York Times that she noticed indications that the two documents she inspected were the product of a word processor and relayed that to the producers.
"I had questioned the superscript on there," she said, referring to the raised letters that appear after the number 111 to indicate the name of the flight squadron, adding she also had some questions about what she believed were some inconsistencies in the documents' signatures. She said she was awaiting more documents and more type samples to draw a stronger conclusion but with time running out she referred the network to another expert, who officials at CBS identified as Mr. Matley.
Ms. James first made her comments last night on "World News Tonight'' on ABC. The newscast also presented a second document expert, Emily Will, who said she raised still more serious concerns about the authenticity of a document she inspected for CBS's producers.
ABC News quoted Ms. Will as saying she urged the network producers not to rely on the documents as late as the night before the report was set to air and that she had questions "as to whether it could have been produced by a typewriter."
The women's accounts seemed to undercut CBS network officials' previous denials that producers had questions about the documents' authenticity just one or two days before the report was shown last Wednesday night.
Betsy West, a senior vice president of CBS News, said Tuesday the network continued to stand by its story and that Ms. Will and Ms. James were "peripheral" to its reporting. And, she said, neither woman offered conclusive opinions.
"Emily Will did not implore us to hold the story, she was not adamant in any way," Ms. West said. "She raised concern about the superscript "th," which we discussed with the other experts."
Ms. West said Ms. James similarly "raised no objections."
Officials at CBS News said on Tuesday that they would at some point in the day provide the name of a document expert who expressed confidence in the records' authenticity before the report was broadcast. But they did not do so, and Ms. West declined to say why.
Officials also did not say why they did not report doubts about the documents' authenticity in their initial report.
CBS has refused to say how it obtained the documents. But one person at CBS, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed a report in Newsweek that Bill Burkett, a retired National Guard officer who has charged that senior aides to then-Gov. Bush had ordered Guard officials to remove damaging information from Mr. Bush's military personnel files, had been a source of the report. This person did not know the exact role he played.
Mr. Burkett declined to return telephone calls to his home near Abilene, Tex. His lawyer, David Van Os, on Tuesday repeatedly refused to say in a telephone interview whether the officer had played a part in supplying the disputed documents to CBS. Mr. Van Os said "the real story is and should be, where was George Bush?" and that Mr. Burkett "is not the proper object of attention."
Mr. Van Os called Mr. Burkett "a man of impeccable honesty who would not permit himself to be a party to anything fake, fraudulent or phony."
Maureen Balleza reported from Houston for this article, and Kate Zernike from New York. Jim Rutenberg contributed reporting from Washington and Ralph Blumenthal from Houston.
If someone had the originals to read then why not just release those? No need to make fake copies.
> oh.. NOW the Times starts to get into it.
Only part way.
They conveniently neglect to mention that Knox is
stridently anti-Bush, and even spouted some DNC
talking point slogans during her interview.
She can probably be accepted on denying authorship,
but here "recollection" of the general content of
the memos being true is of doubtful veracity.
Fake, but accurate...
Spoken like a true Kerry supporter.
Is there a thread around finding out who this lady is or should we start the google process?
Actually, this is not an unbalanced piece--I am a bit amazed. In fact, it seems a fairly accurate summary of all the news that has come out today regarding the memos. So--hate to say it, but guess today we might have to give the devil his due.
news.google her name and you get the original Dallas news article where she spouts off her DNC talking points.
Wonder how CBS missed her, she meets the required qualifications.
Is it really likely that she would remember one man from another given her age? Heck, forget her age, would Bush, out of all of the men serving, leave such an impression that she would recall this some 30 years later?
Fake but Accurate
Would that be what you call an oxymoron?
Add it to commonly used phrases like "act natural", "jumbo shrimp", "real imitation",and "same difference"
Actually, the NY Times simply states she "did not vote for Bush"... in the Dallas Morning News account, she was saying Bush was "selected, not elected"...
Sweet, wily lady, matching her story with the "personal files" storyline already public...
Or was she the source of the story in the first place? Did her collaborator mess up because he used "Army terms" rather that AF?
Drudge thread and the interview posted earlier.....
Cool it--she's 86 and probably really a sweet lady. She does not need to become a target and she does verify that the memos are fakes! So--I would just sort of back off being too quick to jump all over her--it would just make CBiaS too happy!
ROFL! They are fraudulant representations of REAL documents. This just get's funnier by the minute.
"Asked about her politics, she said she had never voted for Mr. Bush."
She declined to mention she was a card carrying member of the Socialist Workers party of America, The Communist Party USA, etc, etc. Thats like asking Charlton Heston his politics and saying he never voted Dem.
Like a Rolex you buy on the street corner....
Whose to say a Dem operative didn't get to this 86-year old woman and threaten her with only dog-food to eat if President Bush was re-elected and had a chance to veto a social security bill? She was obviously approached by someone in Kerry or Rather's camp to add support to the "story."
Not buying it.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.