This is regarding your September 17 story, “Working Kinko’s.”
You re-quoted a quote that the New York Times ascribed to me, in which I was discussing a hypothetical worst-case scenario with the Times reporter, Ralph Blumenthal. The Times inaccurately quoted me by using only half of my sentence, in a manner implying that I would condone forgery. This was a terrible misquote on which the Times honorably issued a correction this morning. I am an ethical citizen and an ethical lawyer and never ever would I condone forgery or falsification. Growing up immersed in the strong values of rural East Texas I learned the ways of honor and integrity from my military officer father and my schoolteacher mother. I am an Eagle Scout. My peers in the legal profession have honored me with the highest possible “AV” peer review rating for ethics and legal ability. I hew to the principles of honor and integrity with my every breath.
My real statement to the Times was that if hypothetically an individual in 2004 sat at a word processor and tried to create replicas of documents that they believed existed in 1972 or 1973, that could not change whatever the objective reality was of what George W. Bush was doing or not doing or where he was or wasn’t at the times in question. My statement is such a plain truth that it hardly needed to be said, but I said it to the Times reporter in order to illustrate why the issues surrounding the “CBS documents” are not material to and cannot change the facts of history, whatever those facts may be. I invite you to see the correction published in the New York Times this morning. My statement was not intended to condone forgery and if stated in full cannot fairly be read to do so.
Referencing your reference to my previous service as Democratic County Chairman for Travis County, Texas, an honorable position in which I was proud to serve, I served in such position for the term of 1996-98. I moved away from Travis County in February 1999. I was active in the Travis County Democratic Party from the mid 1970s to 1999. During my over 20 years in Travis County Dan Rather did not perform a fundraiser for the Travis County Democrats to my knowledge. The fundraiser that you appear to be referring to must have occurred after I no longer lived in Travis County. There is nothing in the slightest dishonorable about Dan Rather appearing at a fundraiser for one of the two major political parties — many public figures often lend themselves to such activities out of a sense of civic duty. However, to suggest any connection between that fundraiser and Bill Burkett is ridiculous.
As Lieutenant Colonel Burkett’s personal attorney, I do not have the legal right to divulge anything that he may have said to me in confidence in the course of my professional relationship with him. Thus I cannot and will not do so, unless and until he releases me from that professional obligation, which is something that he has the legal right to do or not to do at any time. Based upon my personal knowledge of Bill Burkett’s character from knowing him and knowing of his reputation among his peers, I will state unequivocally that Bill Burkett did not falsify or create the “CBS documents.” I do not assume that anyone falsified or created those documents until more is known, but if anyone did, it was not Bill Burkett. I will stake my reputation and good name on this certainty. Further from my knowledge of Bill Burkett’s character and integrity, I will state unequivocally that if, hypothetically speaking, Bill Burkett handled documents that were recent creations rather than true copies of originals, he would have done so only because he had reason to believe they were true copies rather than recent creations.
The entire focus on Bill Burkett is being foolishly used to deflect attention away from other questions that are more relevant for the American citizenry at large. Colonel Killian’s secretary, Ms. Knox, has publicly stated that although she did not type the “CBS documents”, they may be attempted re-creations of documents that may have existed, and the contents of the documents do reflect what was actually going on with George Bush and the Texas Air National Guard. Bill Burkett is not the individual who is currently an employee of the citizens of America and who is currently asking the taxpayers to rehire him. George Bush is. The taxpaying citizens have a right to get answers to the questions of what he was doing and why and where he was and why during the times that Ms. Knox refers to, times when he was previously serving as an employee of the citizens and taxpayers of America. It is absurd to expect anyone to believe that an individual intelligent enough to be President of the United States cannot remember any details about significant events in his life. Americans are generally a forgiving people if they are told the truth. Mr. Bush should trust the people and give them a chance to handle the truth. That might show that he has more appreciation for self-governing democracy than his actions have generally shown.
Thank you for printing this rejoinder to your misleading implications about my character and Bill Burkett’s character.p>Sincerely, br> —
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online