September 14, 2004

This Is too Weird for Me

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. And this is too weird for me. Via Bolo Boffin:

Bolo Boffin | 86-43-04: 1. Marian Carr Knox was Killian's secretary. She would have typed the memos.

2. The CBS memos are fake. The typefaces are wrong for what was in the office. There are stylistic differences in how Knox would type the memos. Terminology like "billets" and "administrative officer" are Army terms, not ANG terms.

3. The CBS memos reflect real documents that once existed. Knox remembers very vividly "when Bush was there and all the yak-yak that was going on about it." They accurately reflect Killian's viewpoint and memos that were in a "cover your back" file that Knox maintained for Killian. There may not have been a memo-for-memo connection, but

So the story is: The memos are forged, but they're telling the truth.

Posted by DeLong at September 14, 2004 09:02 PM | TrackBack
Comments

Please use half a brain.
If Mrs. Knox said she didn't type them it doesn't mean that someone else didn't type them at a later date, or concurrently at a different location. Since the subject was sensitive, perhaps Killian had them typed at his workplace rather than at the guard. I don't know. But I do know that all witnesses claim they are accurate representations of Killian's thinking at the time. Somehow and somewhere his personal notes on the subject were typed. Don't call them forgeries ---that's not what we're seeing here.

Posted by: marky at September 14, 2004 09:11 PM

Memos Schmemos.

If Marian Carr Knox was a witness, then get her statement. And find out - from her - who else was part of the "yakety-yak." Get it on video. Forget about the memos.

Just how stupid, lazy, and incompetent are the people who are covering this issue?

Posted by: Investigative Reporting for Dummies at September 14, 2004 09:14 PM

I am holding a copy of the Declaration of Independence, printed with an inkjet printer in Times New Roman, with TJ's signature added with MS Paint. I tell you it is a copy.

Is this a forgery or fraud?

Or just for kicks, I do it with an quill pen on velum, trying to reproduce as accurately as possible. I put TJ's signature on the wrong side of the page. I tell you this is a copy. Am I lying?

Posted by: bob mcmanus at September 14, 2004 09:15 PM

Maybe Bush died but Killian didn't get the memo, and the guy in the Oval Office is a KGB plant? Maybe the "backdate and CYA" memo was written when Bush Sr was running as VP with Reagan, and they didn't want any skeletons in case reporters picked up the old Bush Jr DUI story from 1974.
Maybe Limbaugh's butt boils are back, severe.

I sure hope so.

Posted by: Tante Aime at September 14, 2004 09:35 PM

Why is it that every time something bad is about to happen to Bush or something awful is about to be revealed, he gets away largely unscathed?

This reminds me of the "Seinfeld" episode where Elaine thinks she's turning into George because everything is going wrong for her while everything is going right for him. Jerry is "Even Steven," in that something bad is always balanced out by something good, so he stays where he always is. When Elaine complains to Jerry, he responds with a sarcastic comment, and she says, "You know, some day, something bad is going to happen to you!" Jerry, of course, brushes off such a notion: "No, I'm gonna be fine..."

Of course, in the end, Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer all ended up in jail. If that happens to Bush, et al, well, justice might have been served, and all of this mental stress that we on the left endure might have been worth it.

Posted by: Brian at September 14, 2004 09:42 PM

I dunno, imagine you're Karl Rove or Karen Hughes. You've got these damaging memos, but you don't know if you've got the only copies. How do you hedge against the possibility that someone else has copies and will release them shortly before the election?

The forgery issue effectively neuters the real memos and distracts attention from other damaging, unimpeachable documents.

One of several equally bizarre scenarious explaining these documents.

Posted by: Kuas at September 14, 2004 09:44 PM

Wouldn't be the first time someone's framed a guilty man. Now, if this were fiction, I'm sure the editor would have sent the manuacript back with a red-ink notation, "unbelievable".

It also proves something else. A good way to get accurate information one a topic--apparently in RL as well as on Usenet--is to publish an incorrect version and watch people lose their tempers and correct it.

Posted by: Randolph Fritz at September 14, 2004 10:18 PM

Thinking it over, I think these are probably leaks from within the W. Bush administration. I wonder who leaked them and why.

Posted by: Randolph Fritz at September 14, 2004 11:25 PM

In a clip broadcast by CNN Laura Bush said the memos were "probably" forgeries . . . somewhat non-committal I thought, and the White House was quick to emphasise the fact that she was expressing a personal opinion. Weird doesn't quite cover this.

Posted by: Steve at September 14, 2004 11:39 PM

Might not Killian type his own CYA files at home?.... Secretaries talk, so I'm sure he wants to keep his CYA stuff as personal as possible

Posted by: John McKinzey at September 14, 2004 11:45 PM

"If Mrs. Knox said she didn't type them it doesn't mean that someone else didn't type them at a later date, or concurrently at a different location."

Like Killian himself? I can understand leaving day-to-day typing to Knox, but a CYA memo is something I'd type on my own after the secretary left (not that I have one). We're talking about human beings in an office run by human beings some 30 years ago. We're not talking about electron flow on a CPU chip.

The only thing shocking here is just how easily the Dems jumped on the bait. The beating they're taking is embarrassing to watch.

Posted by: Dragonchild at September 14, 2004 11:49 PM

John,

I think Killian's family says he wasn't a typist, and his secretary says he maintained a "Cover Your Back" file at the office.

Posted by: KevinNYC at September 14, 2004 11:52 PM

Human memory is fallible—especially after 30 years, and especially when you are 80. Sometimes you can even remember something from long ago that never even happened at all. The Knox recollections are of limited probative value without a skillful cross-examination as to how well she remembers things that you can verify. Black’s Law Dictionary defines “authentic copy” as: “A copy which is of such authority as to prove the form and contents of the original from which it is taken.” CBS has the burden of proof, and so far they are deficient in “form,” the contents part is another matter and can only be settled with a proper investigation.

Posted by: A. Zarkov at September 15, 2004 12:10 AM

Knox -- like Robert Lambert in the Kerry Bronze Star case -- SEEMS to be that invaluable item, a genuinely impartial witness. She makes it clear that she detests Bush; but if she was faking this story to get him, would she not say that her office did have a typewriter capable of typing them? (Unless she's faking it but is afraid someone else might be able to expose that particular story of hers.) And, as I say, this does explain the real puzzle in the case: why the memos were apparently forged but the Whte House refused to say so.

On the other side, we still have to explain the fact that Buck Staudt had resigned for 17 months by the time the "sugarcoat" memo says he was still repeatdly "pushing" Hodges -- what does Knox have to say about that? As I.R.D. says above, the obvious thing for someone to do is interview her on tape (and hope she's more plausible than Juanita Broaddrick) -- and also try to crack that unnamed "master sergeant" who she says probably destroyed the handwritten originals, and who has made it clear he doesn't want to talk to the press at all.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw at September 15, 2004 12:18 AM

I am telling ya, Bush really knows how to pull string.

Observe the pattern, all periphery players suddenly stand up 'after' the fact.

If Bush really did complete his TANG, somebody/a group of people should just stand up and say, I served with that guy.

bunch of related article:

Disprove of 'fake theory'
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1644869,00.asp

Why Killian memo ever exist. It turns out to be a really CYA memo!
http://www.bopnews.com/archives/001547.html#1547

The nation put together all known event around 1972 Bush disappearance case
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040927&s=baker

Nobody in Alabama remember Bush.
http://www.memphisflyer.com/content.asp?ID=2837&onthefly=1

This article need confirmation. One thing for sure, Bush snuffed the guy who wrote it.
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/1999/10/18/cocaine

Posted by: Fidonia at September 15, 2004 12:19 AM

Knox -- like Robert Lambert in the Kerry Bronze Star case -- SEEMS to be that invaluable item, a genuinely impartial witness. She makes it clear that she detests Bush; but if she was faking this story to get him, would she not say that her office did have a typewriter capable of typing them? (Unless she's faking it but is afraid someone else might be able to expose that particular story of hers.) And, as I say, this does explain the real puzzle in the case: why the memos were apparently forged but the Whte House refused to say so.
Posted by Bruce Moomaw at September 15, 2004 12:18 AM //

She is faking it:
1. all she has to say : I work with this or that typewriter. And we check if it can do 'th' or not. We know selectris can do it.
2. She is getting really creative with her story. "fake but accurate"? (see new York time interview)
3. She remember what she type some 30 years ago? wow, maybe then we can ask if she remember something MORE than just what she type. How about if she remember Bush and why Bush was missing from the base....

aha...!

Posted by: Fridonia at September 15, 2004 12:24 AM

Hi, folks. Thanks for the link, Brad.

Folks, you must read the accompanying article. Mrs. Knox maintained the CYA file for Killian. She knew what was in there. She knew about the Bush situation, and exactly what Killian thought of it. There's no getting around this one. If the memos were real, she would have typed them.

Yet this is a second witness that confirms that the CBS memos do reflect the reality of Bush's problems with the Guard (Hodges being the first).

However, both Hodges and Knox maintain that the documents are forgeries. I've been waiting for Killian's secretary to speak out, and finally someone found her. I'm taking her word for it.

These memos are forgeries, whether somebody cranked them off on Microsoft Word or located a Selectric Executive D to do the job right. The only way for CBS to salvage them (and their reputation) is to produce the originals and submit them to independant analysis. Don't hold your breath.

And you want to know something really weird? The forger had to know there was a CYA file and know just about what was in it concerning Bush. I'll bet that the forger interviewed Mrs. Knox in the past about the file, and then took the chance of being discovered (if s/he even cared) in order to get enough of the right people talking about Bush's Guard problems.

Hodges would never have confirmed the content of the memos if he hadn't thought them authentic, if the gig had not threatened to be up. This was a bluff of epic proportions. It may yet backfire on the forger, but it remains to be seen if Bush has dodged this bullet.

Posted by: boloboffin at September 15, 2004 12:33 AM

That's not to say that CBS is part of this. I'm thinking that they were taken in. That doesn't speak very well of them, but we shall see...

Posted by: boloboffin at September 15, 2004 12:37 AM

These memos are forgeries, whether somebody cranked them off on Microsoft Word or located a Selectric Executive D to do the job right. The only way for CBS to salvage them (and their reputation) is to produce the originals and submit them to independant analysis. Don't hold your breath.
Posted by boloboffin at September 15, 2004 12:33 AM //

If CBS want to forge a documents, all they need is figure out what type writer they use back in the day and start typing.

Why bother trying to defend a lousy third generation copy of a copy?

Like I say, WHY nobody asks the more obvious question to mrs knox. What does she remember about Bush???!! If she can remember what she type 30 years ago, she better damned well remember Bush case and few details surrounding it.

Posted by: fridonia at September 15, 2004 12:48 AM

Fridonia: "All she has to say is: I work with this or that typewriter. And we check if it can do 'th' or not. We know Selectrics can do it.

"She remembers what she typed some 30 years ago? Wow, maybe then we can ask if she remembers something MORE than just what she types. How about if she remembers Bush and why Bush was missing from the base...."

That's why I said the obvious thing to do is to interview her, Fridonia. It also turns out that the Fort Worth Star-Telegram version of the Dallas Morning News' original story is condensed -- in the DSM original ( http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/091504dnpolnatguard.1185eb4ae.html ), she also says:

(1) That the Olympia which she sometimes used DID have a "th" superscript (which her Selectric didn't), but that it absolutely could not do proportional spacing -- and also that the typeface is wrong, and that some details of the Guard terminology in the memos aren't entirely accurate.

(2) Regarding the "sugarcoat" memo: "Mrs. Knox said that she didn't recall typing a Killian memo alleging that a commander, Col. Walter 'Buck' Staudt, was pressuring officers to "sugar coat" Mr. Bush's record. But, she said, such a portrayal of Col. Staudt was consistent with his character and Col. Killian's opinion of his superior officer.

"The News' report last week found that Col. Staudt's discharge papers show that he retired 18 months before the 'sugar coat' memo was supposedly written. Mrs. Knox said there's no way Col. Staudt could have exerted that influence after he retired."

So her account seems to be entirely self-consistent, whether she's telling the truth or not. Logical next step, I repeat: since she apparently thinks the other three memos ARE accurate (just as Killian's son says he thinks "one of them" is plausible, although I still don't know which one he's referring to), let's ask her (and Bush) about the information on them -- as well as what else she may know. And what that "master sergeant" may know.

But then, let's also grill Kerry on why he still refuses to release a large chunk of his military record.


Posted by: Bruce Moomaw at September 15, 2004 12:56 AM

So her account seems to be entirely self-consistent, whether she's telling the truth or not. Logical next step, I repeat: since she apparently thinks the other three memos ARE accurate (just as Killian's son says he thinks "one of them" is plausible, although I still don't know which one he's referring to), let's ask her (and Bush) about the information on them -- as well as what else she may know. And what that "master sergeant" may know.

Posted by Bruce Moomaw at September 15, 2004 12:56 AM //

First thing I would ask Mrs knox.
Does she remember James Bath? Can we see his record?

Killian son never been cross examined. How much does he know about the memo and the inner working of TANG?

Posted by: parsley at September 15, 2004 01:42 AM

All known service docs between Kerry vs. AWOL Bush.

http://www.awolbush.com/kerry-vs-bush.asp

Posted by: Magic at September 15, 2004 02:01 AM

Another example of how well the Bush administration has learned Tyronne Slothrop's Proverbs for Paranoids:

If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers.

Posted by: Arnold Snarb at September 15, 2004 04:14 AM

"CBS has the burden of proof, and so far they are deficient in “form,” the contents part is another matter and can only be settled with a proper investigation.

Posted by A. Zarkov at September 15, 2004 12:10 AM "

Not in Florida. It's legal for news organizations to blatantly lie. Thanks to Rupert Murdoch and 4, count 'em, 4 different court decisions (only the last one counts of course!). (This article is dated from March '03, so I don't know if this decision has ever been overruled.)

http://www.rense.com/general35/MEDIA.HTM

Posted by: bushwahd at September 15, 2004 05:31 AM

I am on "terminal leave" awaiting my retirement date after 24 yrs in the Air Force. I can tell you terms like billits and Administrative Officer are indeed terms I've seen over my entire career.

The freepers are good at putting partisans in place to refute whatever they need to. Just look at their work in the SBVFT and Kitty Kelley attacks. Don't EVER take them at their word, it means nothing.

Posted by: Fr33d0m at September 15, 2004 05:51 AM

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21671-2004Sep14.html

Read this. Could someone who served in Vietnam comment about what stage of the conflict there was similar to the current situation?

It sounds to me that the US forces have been reduced to flailing around at random.

Posted by: sm at September 15, 2004 06:46 AM

Shades of Rigoberta Menchu. It doesn't matter that the facts are wrong, the FEELINGS are right! So it's all okay?

Bah.

Does anyone honestly think they can remember word for word a memo they wrote 35 years ago? SO we go back to the true facts. Bush didn't serve all his drill days when they were scheduled so he served 36 days on active duty to make them up. Just like thousands and thousands of other Reservists and Guardsmen have done.

Maybe next election we can have a candidate who _wasn't_ born during the Vietnam serving era so we can have a national discussion on the recent past and the _future_?

Or at least get rid of 527's whose sole purpose seems to be to dig up dirt the candidates don't want to fling themselves?

FAT CHANCE.

QM


Posted by: Jody Dorsett at September 15, 2004 07:23 AM

Congrats, Fr33dom!! Looking forward to retirement, I hope?

Posted by: a different chris at September 15, 2004 07:23 AM

We just dont know if these memoes are fake. we've been handed memoes from a reputable source, (CBS) and have seen no defenative proof that they are fake.

All the IBM experts agree they could have easily been reproduced with the technology at the time. Debating memories from 30 yrs ago, and trying to guess what Killian might have done is pointless in the extreme.

Posted by: Roycommi at September 15, 2004 07:25 AM

BTW, a quick search corroborate's Knox's claim that it was the Olympia manual that had that underscored "th" seen on some memos. This was posted last week when the controversy was just getting started:

*****

http://corrente.blogspot.com/2004_09_05_corrente_archive.html#109480329185612157

As I noted in comments (earlier thread), I have an old Olympia manual typewriter. A great big heavy steel shelled anvil of a thing that was common in business offices and newspaper rooms years ago. Its circa 50's or 60's vintage. As a matter of fact it once lived on a desk at a newspaper. It sounds like this when you type with it: Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!... just like that. But, what is interesting here is that this particular industrial strenght beast has subscript keys. Including "th" - which is raised and underlined - as well as "1/2" and "1/4" subscript keys.

*****

OK, so the simplest explanation seems to me to be that the memos were forged by someone who had heard a lot of stories about all the "yak-yak" and, not having actual memos, tried to reconstruct them.

Am I mistaken that Burkett was the one who claims to have seen Bush's files being shredded?

Posted by: Paul Callahan at September 15, 2004 07:52 AM

http://flyunderthebridge.blogspot.com/

I love the smell of toast in the morning.

Posted by: Patrick R. Sullivan at September 15, 2004 08:29 AM

I am able to take Knox's judgements of the documents and her recollections of Killian's opinion as both valid. I have never been married to the idea that the memos are good; what I've always said is that it will all come out in the wash, and that we should let our adversaries do their own work, not call fouls on our own team, and cover one another's backs.

Suddenly, now, Republicans are lining up to accept her judgments of the CBS documents while denying that she could remember anything about Killian's opinion. From what she said, it sounds as if it was a noisy issue at the time, so that's something she normally would remember. I clearly remember noisy disputes in my own work life from 1973 and 1975. If she had been asked "On June 23, 1972, at about 2:30 p.m., did you hear Killian say...." I would not trust her unaided memory either, but this is something bigger and more general.

Knox's story has been corroborated by Strong, a contemporary witness. Hodges first corroborated the general drift, and then changed his story when someone convinced him that he could and should say something different. Staudt refuses to be interviewed, just as George Elliot does and just as one of the document experts (who's recieved name-calling phone calls) does.

I agree that this issue, neither the NG service nor the memos -- should not have this prominence, but it's out there and I think that Democrats and kerry supporters have a reasonable responsibility to advocate effectively for our side. This means framing the issue as Bush's service rather than the memos themnselves, and pointing out that the facts seem to be about as the memos said. The possibility that they are retyped, and possibly paraphrased, versions of something actual seems very real.

I have the damnedest time convincing intellectual / academic liberals and Democrats that in a two- or multi-party system it is OK to function as a partisan advocate. And all democratic, liberal systems are multi-party or two-party. In the same way, in any liberal society you need to have lawyers acting as advocates making the best case for their clients.

I participated in a ferocious debate on Drum about this. All the trolls were triumphant, and the moderates were inveighing against partisanship and claiming that the SBV smear wouldn't have come out if Michael Moore hadn't been so mean!!!! (The old submissive wetting theory of how to defeat the Republicans).

Far too many liberals have a Gandhian-Kantian purist idea of political engagement which is not viable in any actual political system thatever has been or ever will be. They're like the species bird in Alice in Wonderland which "always goes extinct" because it's head is made of sugar and dissolves as soon as it tries to drink water.

Posted by: zizka / John Emerson at September 15, 2004 08:37 AM

I'm sorry, but doesn't this really explain why CBS thought the memos genuine? Such memos were thought to exist, they verified with people material in the memos and found them to line up with what Killian voiced, and the signature appeared to be Killian's.

Posted by: Rob at September 15, 2004 08:42 AM

Besides Knox and (initially) Hodges, there's a third witness, Strong, confirming the general gist of the memos.

Hodges claims that "CBS lied to him". CBS used a prosecutorial trick of questioning someone while letting them think that they had stronger evidence in their possession that they really had. As soon as Hodges found that CBS's hand was weaker than he had thought, he changed his story. I imagine that someone got to him. Staudt refuses to talk.

This is a framing case. For Democrats, the frame should be Bush's NG service. The Republican frame is "Were these memos typed in the early 70's?" Framing is NOT truth-function or factual. It's how you look at things.

Too many Democrats have accepted the Republican frame. That's how Democrats lose.

Thje fact that the media normally accept the Republican frame is one of the big problems we have to do something about. We have to start by not accepting the Republican frame ourselves, and by not repeating Republican talking points.

I think that the idea that most of the (low and middle level) media are Democrats is probably true. But they're defeated, captive, submissive-wetting Democrats like Kristoff and Colmes and Estrich (usually) and Stephanopolous and so on.

Posted by: zizka / John Emerson at September 15, 2004 08:48 AM

very interesting comments. reflect on you, sir.
this will all be unraveled in time. this may well have been a trap, and the focus shift to document authenticity may well in the long run wind up continuing to diffuse a dangerous issue for the president. but, as the story keeps its legs, there are more and more things coming out reinforcing the background truths. that celebratory cigar of mr. rove's may wind up exploding in his face.

both krugman and kristof in the nytimes have been spot on this week about an important part of this particular issue (the guard story), but only krugman of the two takes it to the bigger picture. they both point out that the post-events dissembling (not to mention the alleged file cleansing) is even more important. that doesn't get wiped away by the born-again political construct. krugman connects the character flaw from the guard story to the current budget presentations/prognastications. i.e. it's outright lying in our faces.

but what we really need here is somebody to put everything on the line--lay out the whole, substantial string of dubious activities--all followed with its subsequent, shifting misrepresentations. dui(s); guard service; arbusto; bcci loan; kenny boy pay-for-play; offshore harken shell entities; harken stock dump and sec investigation of same; arlington land condemnation; dirty campaign tactics vs. john sparkman, ann richards (and subsequently: john mccain, al gore, john kerry); driver records erasure; utexas pension fund investment switch; taking credit for legislation passed over his veto; the houston education improvement scandal; broken campaign promises (bi-partisanship; compassion; nation-building; carbon dioxide limits, etc)--list is hardly all-conclusive, and that only brings us to ground zero of his administration.

for those out there who still take this man at face straight-talkin', straight-shootin' value, a man of forthright resoluteness--this would put the guard story in its proper contextual place. before we buy yet one more used car from this guy, what are we really dealing with here?

Posted by: proudliberal at September 15, 2004 08:52 AM

HOW TO EXECUTE A PERFECT SMEAR
By Karl Rove

1. Through a loyal surrogate, release to a liberal media outlet fake documents purporting to confirm some of the things already known about Shrub’s National Guard record.
2. Immediately have the White House release copies of the same fake documents. Of course, these documents should look like they were obtained from the liberal media outlet. This gives the White House the appearance of full candor, while getting the story out.
3. The White House should not dispute the validity of these documents to give Shrub an air of being above the fray.
4. Immediately send loyal surrogates ways to show how the documents are fakes.
5. Have Shrub’s wife suggest that the documents probably are fake and that the person who is trying to smear her husband in this way is a terrible person who should be ashamed.
6. Have Shrub look presidential by not addressing the fake documents and only saying that he is proud to have served his country.
7. Leak to the press an unsubstantiated rumor that the Kerry campaign created the fake documents.
8. During a stump speech have a loyal surrogate ask Shrub about the allegations about the Kerry campaign. Have Shrub respond by saying that if these allegations are true, it certainly would not reflect well on Kerry’s judgment, credibility, and character.

In this way, all of the charges made against Shrub (i.e., bad judgment, no credibility, and poor character) will be pinned on Kerry.

Posted by: an at September 15, 2004 08:55 AM

> and that we should let our adversaries do their own work, not call fouls on our own team

I agree, but is CBS News really "our own team"? If so, I think they ought to be kicked off the team for claiming to authenticate a document when the original was not available.

Copies prove absolutely nothing. They might have as recently as 20 years ago when forgeries could only be done on an optical photocopier and left tell-tale artifacts. But it is no longer possible to distinguish a photocopy of an original from a synthetic document that existed only in digital form.

BTW, last time I checked, it was John Kerry, not Dan Rather, who is challenging the incumbent for the presidency. I haven't noticed Kerry tying his own credibility to the memos. Why should I?

To recap, I spent half of last Thursday trying very hard to build a convincing case that the memos were authentic. I could shoot down some of the more ignorant arguments such as the belief, still prevalent, that proportional font would be impossible on a 1970s typewriter. But ultimately, I convinced myself that they were fake. Convincing others is another matter, and I don't claim to have produced a definitive argument.

My purpose of posting here is not to call fouls on anyone. but I think that the knowledge that the memos are fake is useful to have ahead of time. It is going to come out anyway. There is no advantage to getting taken by surprise.

Posted by: Paul Callahan at September 15, 2004 09:19 AM

Too many Democrats have accepted the Republican frame. That's how Democrats lose.

Thje fact that the media normally accept the Republican frame is one of the big problems we have to do something about. We have to start by not accepting the Republican frame ourselves, and by not repeating Republican talking points.

Absolutely true.

Posted by: Bernard Yomtov at September 15, 2004 09:43 AM

This is what we know:

1. The document fake excuse is debunked. It is possible to create the docs using 70's technology

2. The quality of CBS document is too low to determine typography, spacing, line distance. (It's a copy of a copy inside a scanned .pdf documents) It's been distorted

3. The rightwing attacked the authenticity of the docs to death. They are afraid, but whitehouse doesn't dare claim the documents is fake. (haa haa )... hence the documents are REAL.

4. All the witness has not been cross examined.

Posted by: buddy at September 15, 2004 09:57 AM


It's as if someone had Rich Little impersonate what Richard Nixon said during the missing 18 minutes of tape, and pegged the gist of the conversation, but got some minor details wrong and recorded it as an MP3.

Posted by: Jon H at September 15, 2004 10:09 AM

Exactly, Jon H. Except the CBS memo forger released the tape as the real thing.

I did something similar on my website. I took Bush's payroll records and partially reconstructed the missing third quarter information. I used an later payroll record, and digitally recreated the calendar using all the redundant records. The result was exactly accurate - it would have been what was on the record if that record had been available - but it was a "forgery." I clearly labelled it as a "digital recreation" and explained how I had created it.

Accurate but fake.

Hmmmm. I will absolutely freak out if that little post was the inspiration for all of this. Click on my name to see what I did.

Posted by: boloboffin at September 15, 2004 11:12 AM

BTW, since we're still on the subject of Killian counterfeits, I just hope everyone here realizes that the worst offender is the Adolph Coors Brewing Co.

They have been making counterfeit so-called "Killian's Irish Red" since the 1980s. The last batch of authentic Killian's was brewed no later than 1956 when the G.H. Lett Brewery of Enniscorthy, County Wexford closed shop.

http://www.greatlakesbrewing.com/Beerschool/BeerStyles/irishales.htm

Posted by: Paul Callahan at September 15, 2004 11:18 AM

"And you want to know something really weird? The forger had to know there was a CYA file and know just about what was in it concerning Bush. I'll bet that the forger interviewed Mrs. Knox in the past about the file, and then took the chance of being discovered (if s/he even cared) in order to get enough of the right people talking about Bush's Guard problems." -- boloboffin, 12:33 AM

I'll be darned. That is far and away the most intriguing thing I have read about this.


"...and pointing out that the facts seem to be about as the memos said." Zizka, 8:37 AM

And this may be the most powerful concept yet. Perhaps I am misunderstanding, so let me ask - would it have been OK for the Evil Reps to fake the Gennifer Flowers tapes (as alleged) and the blue dress stain (not faked) since, as we eventually learned, the underlying facts were about as described?

Posted by: Tom Maguire at September 15, 2004 12:33 PM

>dui(s); guard service; arbusto; bcci loan; kenny boy pay-for-play; offshore harken shell entities; harken stock dump and sec investigation of same; arlington land condemnation; dirty campaign tactics vs. john sparkman, ann richards (and subsequently: john mccain, al gore, john kerry); driver records erasure; utexas pension fund investment switch; taking credit for legislation passed over his veto; the houston education improvement scandal; broken campaign promises (bi-partisanship; compassion; nation-building; carbon dioxide limits, etc)--list is hardly all-conclusive, and that only brings us to ground zero of his administration.

Proudliberal, I'm afraid this is all beside the point.

No honest person denies that Bush is a lying scumbag.

The issue is whether our nation wants this lying scumbag for president. At the least, a large minority do.

I haven't heard any coherent reasoning about it, but here's the closest I've heard: The claim is that we will win the iraq war if we're only resolute enough. We have to keep the troops in iraq, doing pinpoint bombing and such for as long as it takes until we win. (I'll leave out the explanation that we had already won in vietnam except the traitorous Congress cut off the funding.) Some people say they're afraid that Kerry wouldn't be resolute enough in iraq, he might withdraw the troops too soon. And it doesn't matter what Kerry says about it because they think he's a flip-flopper. They believe he might withdraw the troops (which is so bad that nothing else matters), and there's no possible way to persuade them he wouldn't. After all, he has democrats supporting him, and they think a whole lot of Democrats want to lose the war.

Posted by: J Thomas at September 15, 2004 12:48 PM

"And this may be the most powerful concept yet. Perhaps I am misunderstanding, so let me ask -- would it have been OK for the Evil Reps to fake the Gennifer Flowers tapes (as alleged) and the blue dress stain (not faked) since, as we eventually learned, the underlying facts were about as described?"

No, Tom, of course it would not have been. But then, of course, it still wouldn't have been right for Clinton to do what he did in those cases.

Which just proves again that the whole case invites further investigation -- starting with further interviews with Ms. Knox, with Killian's son (I still don't know wheich of the four memos he orignally said was "probably authentic") -- and with that unnamed "master sergeant" who would have been in charge of destroying any of Killian's handwritten notes, and who is very reluctant to talk to the press. As well, of course, as an attempt to find out who provided the fake memos -- although last night's NY TImes article, quoting both a CBS official and Bill Burkitt's own lawyer, leaves virtually no doubt that he was the forger.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw at September 15, 2004 03:05 PM

There is, by the way, an interesting piece at http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=express&s=demos091504 comparing the current widespread shrieks about CBS' dishonesty with the ho-hum attitude of most of the press to the far more pervasive dishonesty of Fox News -- driven by the fact that "opinion journalism", for some reason, is traditionally held to lower standards of factual accuracy than "non-opinion journalism".

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw at September 15, 2004 03:39 PM

That would be the EIGHTY SIX YEAR OLD, Ms. Knox, fellas. Good luck.

http://flyunderthebridge.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Patrick R. Sullivan at September 15, 2004 03:43 PM

The fake memos are not admissible in a court of law and it wasn't good journalism to use them. On the other hand, they seem to be be pretty accurate. If they had been presented as the parphrases or reconstructions they apparently are, no problem.

So where is the problem? Dan Rather and CBS have a problem. Rather's source, Rather's staff, and the actual forger have problems. The case against Bush is undamaged. The Democrats have not been implicated, and are undamaged until they are.

Except that the Republican Party, all the right wing hacks, and much of the media are going to frame this as a Kerry problem and a Bush vindication, which it in no way is.

Posted by: zizka / John Emerson at September 15, 2004 03:44 PM

Patrick: "That would be the EIGHTY SIX YEAR OLD, Ms. Knox, fellas. Good luck."

Pat doesn't give up easily, does he? Hysterical fanatics rarely do. http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/091504dnpolnatguard.1185eb4ae.html :

"Mrs. Knox, 86, who spoke with precise recollection about dates, people and events, said, 'I remember very vividly when Bush was there and all the yak-yak that was going on about it.' "

And, of course, if her memory is that fuzzy about the facts, why on Earth should we believe her when she says the memos must have been forged?

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw at September 15, 2004 03:52 PM

By the way, we have another witness now, too -- in fact, maybe several of them. http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/nation/president/2004-09-14-memos-forgeries_x.htm :

"Another former Texas National Guard officer, Richard Via, also said that the documents were fakes but that their content reflected questions about Bush that were discussed at the time in the hangar at Ellington Air Force Base, where he had a desk next to Killian's.

"Via said he and others he worked with 'remember the physical, and him going to Alabama was an issue.' He said Killian 'made notes and put them in his files about things like that.'

"Killian kept the files because 'he was trying to cover his ass,' Via said. 'He was always worried something would come back on him.'

He said Killian's secretary 'would type them up, and he'd put it in his desk drawer and lock it.' "

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw at September 15, 2004 03:55 PM

"and as the story ends, whether it's Bush, Jr or Sr, Kerry or anyone else in the chief's office, someone (unknown) dictates their policies and actions as usual. It's why soaps are still the most viewed tv programs. It's why there's always other powers and influences behind the throne. And charactor has nothing to do with the office of President. And everything looks normal. And everything turns out the way it's supposed to.

The media talks of ousting the IRS if Bush is elected. About time, that group of thugs from Puerto Rico should have been ousted long ago. And so should those members of government who knew that no income tax law for sovereign states' citizens was ever ratified or enacted. They duped us into volunteering and made sure we couldn't unvolunteer. Try giving up bank checking and savings accounts and getting a job without your social security number (which wasn't supposed to be used in public). Insidious group we're surrounded with...at least Bush has signed the VAT with the UN and the IRS seems to be the next media target....so we will have to live with one or the other anyway... and yes, bush was a disfunctional drunk for a long time... sickness don't know ya know ?"

Posted by: Hawk at September 15, 2004 07:40 PM

Maybe it was the Illuminati, Hawk.

By the way, Dan Rather just interviewed Mrs. Carr on "60 Minutes". The lady is as sharp as a tack -- if she's stating falsehoods, it's quite deliberately. Rather also went on at some length about the new evidence that the memos are forgeries, and promised to "continue the investigation as to their authenticity", without doing much to continue insisting that they're authentic.

But I need to recheck the transcript of the interview, which I recorded -- I believe that, while she insisted flatly that Bush disobeyed orders to take his physical and that a lot of people in the Guard were PO'ed about it, Rather didn't ask her the important question whether (as Memo 1 says) Killian ordered him to do it well ahead of his birthday. (Memo 2 implies strongly that that was because at the time Bush thought he'd be going to Alabama before his birthday). And she told Rather flatly that "the information in the forged memos is true" -- without repeating her statment to the Dallas Morning News that Buck Staudt was in no position to put pressure on anyone in August 1973, contrary to what Memo 4 says. Rather didn't ask her about that, either.

Next step for the press, of course: talk more to Richard Via and the "others he worked with" whom he claims also knew what was going on, and find out more about WHAT they thought was going on.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw at September 15, 2004 07:57 PM

Excuse me, "Mrs. Knox". Freudian slip, I guess.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw at September 15, 2004 08:56 PM

If you have high-speed internet, you can view the video at the CBS site.

"For instance, with the physical, every officer knows that at his birthday, that he was spozed to have that flying physical." So there seems to have been a standing order, which W. disobeyed. Mrs. Knox is also a powerful witness to W. Bush's character--she's either an incredible actress or just telling the truth. What she has said is damning--it smashes W. Bush's "good old boy" image. My god. Is Bush going to resign over this?

"Well I think it's plain and simple. Bush didn't think that he had to go by the rules that others did. And he had this campaign to take care of, and that's what he was gonna do, and that's what he did do."

Posted by: Randolph Fritz at September 16, 2004 12:26 AM

FWIW, Bush did show up in Alabama I'm afraid:

http://www.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/news/040216/bush.shtml

AP has a report, too, but I can't find it right now.

Second, it sounds like Ms Knox, if she didn't type the memos, dictated them. They're too close to her answers to Rather.

So it's still gossip and hearsay and may all be based on her as their 'unimpeachable source' as are the memos. If CBS didn't have the memos they didn't have enough to make the case. So I guess they thought it was worth it to put them out there.

Posted by: Syl at September 16, 2004 03:11 AM


Remember, we have to keep this all in context.

US Forces KIA in Vietnam by year:

http://www.rjsmith.com/kia_tbl.html

1961-65 1,864
1966 5,008
1967 9,378
1968 14,594
1969 9,414
1970 4,221
1971 1,380
1972 300

The war was obviously winding down. So giving Bush permission to work on a campaign and then in 1973 after he bunched up his hours to get them in, they let him leave early to go back to school. Like big deal.

Alabama didn't use the F-102 so there was no need to have a rectal exam to keep from being grounded..they weren't going to pay for him to learn to fly a different type of aircraft and they had a glut of pilots anyway. As I said, the war was winding waaaay down by 1973.

Let's keep our heads about this.

Posted by: Syl at September 16, 2004 03:22 AM

Nice try, Syl. So actually, George was stupid to try to evade service because no one was getting killed anymore anyway? And that excuses him?

Posted by: zizka / John Emerson at September 16, 2004 06:04 AM

Syl, Copeland's story has been around for a long time. It's plausible that Bush did show up on the base occasionally; the question -- which Copeland (who says he only saw him twice) doesn't answer is whether he showed up nearly often enough. (Note also that Copeland hismelf expresses puzzlement over two aspects of Bush's story, which leads me to think that he may be telling the truth about seeing him on those two occasions.)

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw at September 16, 2004 06:07 AM

If Bush didn't show up 'enough' then you have to believe that the official records were doctored. And for that you need proof. I mean REAL proof.

Expecting eyewitness validation of every hour he spent drilling or whatever he did is ridiculous.

In the guard the requirements don't have to be met on consecutive weekends at all. I've known many in the guard who accumulated extra time during a certain period then didn't show up again 'til the next year. It was not unusual. And Bush fit his requirements into compressed periods.

And, Zizka, there is no evidence that Bush DID evade service. He got his credits. Just barely, but he got them. All I meant by perspective is, well, perspective. I think it's important to see Bush's service in light of what was going on with the war.

Also grumbling going on by people in Texas when Bush was in Alabama means what exactly? Nothing.

In many ways Bush was a f*ckup back then. Everyone knows it and, more importantly, accepts it. He changed. He's already been 'forgiven'.

Posted by: Syl at September 16, 2004 07:24 AM

As usual, Bruce Moomaw doesn't comprehend what he reads:

'She added that she does not support Mr. Bush as president, deeming him "unfit for office" and "selected, not elected."'

Hey, she might be posting here under a nom de net!

Posted by: Patrick R. Sullivan at September 16, 2004 08:53 AM

Both fake and true? Oy vey!
The blog entry at corrent has more from the interview. Specifically, Marian Knox (Killian's secretary of the time) states;

1- She did NOT type them.
2- The INFORMATION is correct.
3- Lt Col Killian kept PRIVATE CYA memos.
(http://corrente.blogspot.com/2004_09_12_corrente_archive.html#109530469501779691)

That Killian's family saying that he preffered writing by hand proves nothing in my mind. Non-typists can still use the typewriter, even if they can only 'Hunt and Peck'.


PS. Regarding Staudt's 'lack' of influence because he retired, this should come as a shock to the lobbyists on K street. I mean they wasted all of their time and money hiring these retired military and political figure who have no influence with their old co-workers.

Posted by: linnen at September 16, 2004 09:55 AM

Yep, Pat, the original Dallas Morning News article indicated that she might be a biased witness (as I mentioned explicitly when I first described her statement and said that she "clearly detests Bush"). So it's a good thing that USA Today has dug up at least one other witness (Richard Via), and that he says that several more exist. But then, it's even more fortunate that Scott McClellan has now confessed that the White House was unable to say that the actual facts listed in the memos were false.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw at September 16, 2004 04:11 PM