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Bush's Brain Author Central Figure in Rather-Gate
various | 9/15/2004 | me

Posted on 09/15/2004 3:57:33 PM PDT by hobson

It was just too convenient to have all the long awaited "missing documents" and a player in Texas politics come together to "confirm" what the Democrats have been trying to "prove" for a long time. How did Barnes and the forged memos make it to the nicely packaged hit piece reported by Dan Rather on 60 Minutes II?

The following is an attempt to layout the origin and subsequent events that bring us to the "revelations" reported by Dan Rather.

Moore first challenged Bush about guard records in 1994

JAMES C. MOORE - Author and Former CBS affiliate employee, James C. Moore first challenged George W. Bush about his Texas Air National Guard service during the 1994 gubernatorial debate between Bush and Ann Richards. Moore, from Flint, Michigan, was a reporter for the CBS affiliate KHOU-TV in Houston at that time. He won an Emmy in 1997 for his report "Lone Star Standoff".

Former CBS KHOU TV reporter and author of Bush's Brain, James C. Moore, was the first to question Bush's guard record in a 1994 debate with Anne Richards. Moore admits," Ever since asking Bush that question almost a decade ago, I have been obsessed with finding the truth". He has published many articles on the subject over the last 10 years.

Moore ratcheted up his efforts beginning in February 2004. His new book "Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made Bush Presidential" was first published on February 21, 2004. In an article dated April 27, 2004 for titled Bush's Flight from the Guard (Alternate Link), Moore says, "I leaked Burkett's story to the national media shortly after filmmaker Michael Moore described the president as a "deserter" and set off a furor".

Moore's work can be found at

Clear the air, Mr Bush provides some interesting insight as to Mr. Moore's familiarity with TANG operations. Could it be Mr. Moore is a candidate for the source mentioned in the article by Editor and Publisher where USA Today described their source as"a person with knowledge of Texas Air National Guard operations"?


On May 4, 2004, Moore was used as source for this article by CBS reporter Beth Lester, Gaps Remain in Bush Guard Service. Lester refers to Moore's speculations, " ... there was a drug or alcohol induced reason for Mr. Bush's absence that he and his superiors wanted to avoid publicizing. " And uses Moore to add further suspicions that Bush did not fulfill his obligation, "Moore is quoted in the article as saying, "A pilot can not simply walk away from all of that training..."." The article points out that "The Kerry campaign thinks it has a winner with this issue. " and that "the Kerry campaign sent out a press release titled Key Unanswered Questions: Bush's Record in The National Guard.". The Key Questions were published on April 27, 2004 and the same day Moore published Bush's Flight from the Guard on

On September 10, 2004 Dan Rather used Moore as an authority on Bush's guard records:

RATHER: You've studied president Bush's records for 10 years. Are these documents consistent with the record as you know it?

MOORE: They are absolutely consistent with the records as I know it.

RATHER: Put it in context and perspective for us the story and what we call the counterattack on the story. Where are we right now?

MOORE: I think what has happened is some incriminating documents have come out. The white house, you should remember, has not discredited the documents. they're relying on the blogosphere and other people to do that. Because the White House probably knows these documents are in fact real.

Unbelievable. Could it be the "impeccable" source Mr. Rather is relying on is the former CBS KHOU-TV reporter and dogged Bush basher James C. Moore? And has James C. Moore lent his "credibility" to Lieutenant Colonel Will Burkett who is now being identified as a possible source of the documents?


Moore has speculated on many occasions that the reason Bush did not take the physical was because he was avoiding a drug test along with many other allegations. How does one man continue to ask the same questions for TEN YEARS ? Enter Lieutenant Colonel William (Bill) Burkett who has been describe as The Fried Man and has an unfortunate illness called meningoencephalitis . (must read) Burkett's story provided the avenue for Moore to keep beating the "missing document" drum beat.

It is unclear when or how Moore first met Burkett. But, Burkett needed someone to tell his story and at one point was told to contact Bev Harris, a consultant, who could help him do just that. And indeed she did when she published her own articles on the subject at also published articles by Burkett and James C. Moore:

More about the Moore and Burkett duo can be found at .


On February 13, 2004, Guardsmen Differ On Bush Service CBS News reporter John Roberts quotes Burkett and refers to Moore book:

"In a six-year old letter to Texas lawmakers obtained by CBS News and in a new book, former guard officer Bill Burkett claims that in 1997, Texas Guard commanders purged Mr. Bush's records to "make sure nothing will embarrass the Governor during his re-election campaign, or if he runs for president."

"I was troubled sufficiently within my own conscience that there was an effort here to cast an image that was better maybe than the individual's record," Burkett said. He claims he overheard a phone conversation in which Mr. Bush's then chief-of-staff Joe Allbaugh gave the order to scrub the records, and later found some in the trash.

Video of this report is found here .


Dan Rather also interviewed former Lt. Governor of Texas, Ben Barnes. Barnes is still a powerful player in Texas and National Democratic politics. Senator Tom Daschle calls him the 51st Democratic Senator ("So What if He Never Got to be Governor or President?" by Paul Burka, September, 2001).

But this wasn't the first time Barnes told this story. In May 2004 Barnes recanted testimony he had previously given under oath in a video produced by Michael Nicholson and Todd Phelan of has this to say about the making of this video:

For the record, the footage for these clips was shot this past May. We conducted a sit-down interview on Tuesday, May 25th, and then, almost as an afterthought, we taped his speech at our MeetUp on Thursday May 27th. The clips were edited together over the following month and posted on the morning of Friday, June 25th. They've been online ever since

The video didn't get much attention until ... wait for it... James C. Moore sent out an email around August 25 calling attention to the video. On August 27, CBS News, article titled Ex-Honcho: I Got Bush Into Guard they give Moore credit for jump starting the most recent whirlwind.

"The video was posted June 25 on the Web site, but didn't get much attention until Friday, when Jim Moore, an Austin-based author of books about Mr. Bush, sent out e-mail messages calling attention to it...".

The website was slammed with traffic and asked their friends at mirror the video.

How is connected? Michael and Todd Phelan are volunteers for the Kerry campaign who organize and host events. You can find their efforts at

According to an article by Jeff Horwitz, I'm very ashamed, (alt link) Todd Phelan is an organizer for Travis County Democratic party. Which brings us to yet another connection with CBS's Dan Rather.

Dan Rather is connected to the the Travis County Democratic Party through his daughter, Robin Rather. She is an organizer and fund raiser for Democratic causes and the Kerry campaign. Dan Rather was the featured speaker at one of the events she organized. Robin Rather is or has been chair-person of several environmental groups.

Ben Barnes is also an active supporter of Travis County Democratic Party. For more on Barnes see Who is Ben Barnes?


As Moore describes in his guest commentary, , he has been on a mission since 1994:
" In 1994, I was the first person to publicly ask Bush about how he got into the National Guard. I had tried to get in myself, desperately, knowing that it might protect me from combat, if the war were still being prosecuted when I graduated from college. I was told, as were thousands of other young men, that the waiting list for enlistment as a guard soldier was about three years. Anyone wanting to be a pilot found themselves in a five year queue. But not George W. Bush. He just walked in and signed up and went off to flight training. As a panelist on the televised debate when Bush first ran for governor against Ann Richards, I felt compelled to ask Mr. Bush how he did it. More than that, I was obligated. My home town, Flint, Michigan, was filled with kids drafted out of the factories and high schools, (and a disproportionate number were African-Americans,) who went to Vietnam and died. Their fathers were not congressmen.

Dan Rather made himself the eye of the Rather-Gate storm but James C. Moore is the energy feeding this hurricane. Moore identified individuals willing to make public accusations against President Bush. Moore collected and published their tales in his books and on the internet. Moore helped at least one of the accusers, Bill Burkett, acquire an outlet. Moore ran the spam campaign publicizing the Barnes video for the Travis County Democrats.

James C. Moore has been working toward this moment since 1994.

TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: burkett; cbs; danrather; jamescmoore
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I report, you decide.
1 posted on 09/15/2004 3:57:34 PM PDT by hobson
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To: Howlin


2 posted on 09/15/2004 3:58:19 PM PDT by hobson
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To: hobson

A lot of good work here, hobson. Kudos to you.

Bump for later read.

3 posted on 09/15/2004 3:58:21 PM PDT by Peach (The Clinton's pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
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To: hobson; 1Mike; 3catsanadog; ~Vor~; ~Kim4VRWC's~; A CA Guy; A Citizen Reporter; abner; Aeronaut; ...

Investigation work being done here.

4 posted on 09/15/2004 4:00:14 PM PDT by Howlin (What's the Font Spacing, Kenneth?)
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To: hobson; Howlin

Copied & saved- good work.

5 posted on 09/15/2004 4:02:51 PM PDT by backhoe (Just a Keyboard Cowboy, ridin' the Trackball into the Dawn of Information...)
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To: hobson

"Moore, from Flint, Michigan,"

Really? Related to Michael?

6 posted on 09/15/2004 4:03:20 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: Peach
Its Rather obvious CBS wants to protect its source for this scandal at all costs. It would be embarrassing for all concerned if the identity of the person responsible for the story and memos were revealed. Eventually the source will leak. In the mean time watching CBS and, old media in general twist in the wind, is very pleasing.
7 posted on 09/15/2004 4:05:15 PM PDT by Uncle Hal
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To: hobson

Wow! Thanks so much!

8 posted on 09/15/2004 4:06:33 PM PDT by Brad’s Gramma (Will the REAL buckhead please stand up?)
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To: Shermy

Interesting isn't it! We need someone with genealogy experience.

9 posted on 09/15/2004 4:06:46 PM PDT by hobson
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To: hobson
You may want to check out my post about Jim Moore here: Jim Moore: Growing Up Clinton: CBS Hoax Witness

10 posted on 09/15/2004 4:08:23 PM PDT by BunnySlippers ("F" Stands for FLIP-FLOP ...)
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To: hobson

Very nice. Good stuff.

11 posted on 09/15/2004 4:10:56 PM PDT by There's millions of'em (Please give the mic to Terayza...)
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To: hobson
"...former guard officer Bill Burkett claims that in 1997, Texas Guard commanders purged Mr. Bush's records..."

"Commanders", as in field grade officers? Majors and above. Sorry, but as a former member of the CA Nat. Grd. I find that hard to believe that anyone at that pay grade would tamper with official records. Padding performance reports for medals and promotion is common, but removing documents that exist? Not a chance. They fear for their career too much and the governors office is not that powerful in regards to the National Guard.

12 posted on 09/15/2004 4:11:06 PM PDT by elbucko (A Feral Republican)
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To: hobson

Oh man .. you're gonna have me busy reading tonight

13 posted on 09/15/2004 4:11:45 PM PDT by Mo1 (Why is the MSM calling the Vietnam Vets and POW's a suspected group??)
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To: Howlin; hobson

Holy Smokes. Moore was interviewed last night and I cannot recall by whom. I paid little attention as he was repeating the same BS about serious questions concerning GWB's service which he didn't answer when he ran for Governor.

14 posted on 09/15/2004 4:15:23 PM PDT by StarFan
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To: Howlin

Looks like James Moore, author of Bush's Brain, is Rather's brain.

15 posted on 09/15/2004 4:17:21 PM PDT by PretzeLogic (Those who run from the facts only find the truth by stumbling into it accidentally.)
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To: Mo1; elbucko; There's millions of'em; BunnySlippers; Brad's Gramma; Uncle Hal; Shermy; backhoe; ...
Darn! I left out the link to meningoencephalitis:
Following an incubation period of 2-15 days, there is a relatively sudden start of severe meningitis-like symptoms, which begin with fever and headache. These are rapidly followed by sensitivity to light, nausea, projectile vomiting, stiff neck, and, in many cases, disturbances to taste and smell. Changes in behavior and seizures may also be present. As conditions worsen the patient falls into a coma. Death usually occurs 3-7 days after the onset of symptoms.

16 posted on 09/15/2004 4:17:21 PM PDT by hobson
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To: hobson; Lady In Blue; radu

Great job hobson ~ thanks!

17 posted on 09/15/2004 4:17:56 PM PDT by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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To: Uncle Hal
Eventually the source will leak

Bob Schieffer of "Face the Nation" has expressed concern at his network's handling of this scandal. If he is representative of the shock at CBS by employees, we just might see a betrayal by a staff-member (if this happened at Fox, the staff-member would be a courageous whistle-blower).

18 posted on 09/15/2004 4:21:10 PM PDT by Erik Latranyi (9-11 is your Peace Dividend)
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To: hobson

This is fabulous detective work!

Have you sent it to anybody at FOX? Drudge? Bloggers?

19 posted on 09/15/2004 4:34:07 PM PDT by terilyn
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To: terilyn

No, I'm brain dead right now.

20 posted on 09/15/2004 4:35:57 PM PDT by hobson
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