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Rather’s Blather

Karl Rove--did he make Dan do it? Is there any time left for CBS and 60 Minutes? What happened to the originals? Readers deconstruct "Anatomy of a Forgery."

9.13.04

DAN IS DONE
Re: The Washington Prowler's Anatomy of a Forgery:

Gents (and ladies):

Concentrate on three evidential words: CHAIN OF CUSTODY

CBS must show that the documents they display were known to be in existence from creation through decades of cold storage to discovery (by whom?) to transfer (via whom?) to CBS.

Since the documents are NOT classified, no laws have been broken by any purported custodians or couriers.

Hence, there is no legal justification for protection through anonymity.

The only purpose served by keeping secret the names of the sequential custodians, is to allow convenient assumptions (that the chain is legitimate) to go unquestioned -- when in truth, the chain must be PROVEN, not assumed.

The photocopies just '"fell from the sky," Rather is asserting. He hasn't proved anything else, and his lame attempts to LOOK like he has, he just strengthens the impression that the documents HAVE no credible origin.
-- Jim O
aerospace sleuth
USAF officer, 1964-1978

Thank you for "The Prowler's" concise exposition of how the story unfolded that was based on the fraudulent COL Jerry Killian documents. With my many years in electronic warfare and other war gaming arenas, I predict that the outcome will not be a more honest Democratic Party.

As with any criminal or war-time enemy, if you explain how they were caught, they will not repent. They will take steps to assure themselves and their superiors that their next effort won't make the same mistakes. The next group to forge political assault documents will hire an expert (or read the right books) to make sure they get the font, line spacing, pitch, points, super/subscripts and other material right.

Is this the end of using fraud to win an election? Sadly, no. Next time, they will just play smarter. They will get paper manufactured in the correct era, or buy original boxes of the forms off of E-Bay, and with a typewriter salvaged from a museum, generate a document with a ribbon inked in the proper era.

It will take the best document experts to spot the next generation of forgeries.

Just my $0.02,
-- Newton Love
Annapolis, Maryland

I love how the DNC folks act like it was no big deal and didn't create a buzz in their group. What fool is going to believe that? If they were so inconsequential and so suspect why were they given over to the liberal shills at "60 Minutes"? Both the DNC and "60 Minutes" had intentions of staking the validity of the docs on the other organization and with dueling plausible denials in hand off they went to play hot-potato except "60 Minutes" got burned. If you think a woman scorned is bad then you haven't seen Mike Wallace get roughed up by a livery inspector while getting a meatloaf sandwich. He is going to squirm out a retraction on the next "60 Minutes and drop this on the DNC in primetime -- hard! Talk about the real "must see TV." This will make the Richard Clarke book sale-a-thon debacle look like small potatoes. Between the Kitty Kelley implosion and this Bush can take the next 8 weeks off at the ranch.
-- Dean Ayer
Milford, Connecticut

Why wouldn't the network fully investigate before releasing their story and then later realize the memos very likely are forgeries? Why hasn't the network had interviews with the Swift Boat authors, just as it had a full segment on television with Clinton about his book? Why hasn't the network insisted that Kerry release his military records, so they can be fully scrutinized to the degree that Bush's have? What is Edwards' military record? Does he have one, and if not, why is any comment or criticism of either Bush or Cheney's military record even given any credibility at all? Why don't you people do your work???!!!!
-- Steven F. Stucker

Regardless of the documents' source, Dan Rather and the CBS news department were guilty of two errors. One is fact checking, running back the documents to source. Had they done this, they could not have run the story. The original author has passed on and there is no other source available to authenticate them. The second mistake was to highlight their eagerness to tear down our president by behaving the way they did in the first place, by running with unauthenticated documents. I rather like this one.

The Prowler must be respected for his (?) patience, as he had prior knowledge and sat on it. It would not have worked otherwise. My compliments.

This story is devastating on many levels. It illustrates Blather's rabid desire to tear down our president to the extent of ignoring warning bells and leading with his chin. This incident also illustrates how mass media would rather have the sensation, and the resultant power of the story, than the accuracy. If both Blather and his industry are so willing to run a story without the minimum fact checking -- because it suits their purpose -- this is a very telling incident that will not go away, and will not be attributable to talk radio, the Internet and that cable news network. It highlights the obvious bias and lack of credibility of the mass media and their agenda.

Regarding the source of the documents, Blather and CBS now cite copying, faxing, scanning, etc., to account for the current condition of the documents. Total crud. Had the documents been copied, faxed and/or scanned in accordance with government requirements, they would be fuzzy but faithful copies of the original. Only if the documents were scanned with optical character recognition (OCR) software could they have ended up in Times New Roman with superscript. As soon as they are scanned with OCR, they immediately become unusable as official documents as they would have editable text, violating government requirements for integrity. As to F.I.S. versus FIS, MIL-STD-12 is the governing document for abbreviations and acronyms. The last version I can claim familiarity with is MIL-STD-12D, still in effect in the early '90s. Having pored through that spec many times to ensure drawing and document accuracy and compliance, I can state rather firmly that periods are not used for the majority of abbreviations and acronyms. If the abbreviation or acronym is not specifically covered by MIL-STD-12, it must be spelled out in the title or text of any document before the abbreviation or acronym can be used subsequently. Many of us checked back then, and BS was not there (in 12D, anyway).

Blather's house on Lake Travis meets more codes than his "journalism."

Keep up the great work.
-- Mike
(serial reader)

I have been following this story closely and I believe that some of our liberal journalist friends my finally have painted themselves into a corner and that their credibility is now seriously in question. One point I have yet to hear anyone make is the fact that all official military documents are produced in a monospace format. That is still true today, just look in any copy of the official correspondence manual of any service. For instance, all navy documents are today produced in courier new font that maintains the monospace format. I would suggest the comparison with any of John Kerry's official documents from the same period. Note that all correspondence is in the monospace format, only on award certificates suitable for framing are you likely to see any other font. Also, it is important to look at George Bush's fitness reports. If there is any difference in the font then those documents must not have been created with the same typewriter. I would be very interested in seeing what was available in the supply system at the time these documents were dated. Even if these were not obvious forgeries then it would appear the Lt. Colonel would be guilty of making false official statements, a crime under the UCMJ.
-- Bill White
A U.S. Navy Sailor

I don't believe for one minute this an accuracy or believability of an important quote in his article.

"If that's the case, then we're bigger fools than we already appear to be judging by all the chatter about how these documents could be forgeries."

No one speaks like this in conversational English. No one. I'm hard-pressed to even read all those words in a single breath. Read it out loud.. judge for your self if this is how people speak OR how writers write..

Also when was the last time you used the word "chatter."

Do you check HIS SOURCES?

How accurate are the facts in this blog?
-- Scott Goldstein
Los Angeles, California

I would suggest to your readers that there are many of us regular folk that are certain that this whole issue has the fingerprints of Clinton stalwarts Sid Blumenthal, Harold Ickes, and Terry McAuliffe.

Considering that there may have been Federal crimes committed in the preparation and distribution of these documents, it will be interesting to see; who provided the DNC with the "documents," when were these "documents" provided and maybe even what internal email can be found at the DNC and the Kerry Campaign regarding these "documents".

Even more interesting will be the results of the same scrutiny being given to existing "government" documents used by the Kerry Campaign to "prove" his Vietnam heroics.
-- Bob Crossman
Cardiff, California

The title of the Prowler's piece could easily have been "Who Suckered Whom?" or "The Duped."

It appears the reputations of the partisan news media, especially CBS, the Democrat National Committee and Kerry's campaign have received what might be the knockout punch. Democrat strategist Pat Caddell told Fox News Friday if the documents Dan Rather aired last Wednesday were forged, as some experts allege, "It would be the end of the (presidential) race."

That'd be sweet justice. Imagine: The partisan media, Kerry and the Dems get sunk by their own actions and words. If that's not an unintended consequence, what is? It's what they get for being so small-minded and consumed by their hatred of the president, and for collaborating and betraying the public's trust.

Wouldn't it be spectacular if Karl Rove really did engineer this?
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

Why do I suspect that the "authenticity" of the documents was verified by the Kerry campaign?
-- Sheila Blanchet
Guilford, Connecticut

It was only this morning when I first heard about the suspected forgery on my local radio station KSFO AM in San Fran that I said to my husband, "do you want to bet that this will be turned into being George Bush's fault." Lo and behold the subject article's last sentence refers to Karl Rove having duped both the DNC and CBS. I am certain that the leftists and the Bush haters will have a field day now that they feel safe in blaming Bush for this troublesome issue. It never ends does it?
-- Ruth Kaempf
Los Altos, California

Dan "Wiley E. Coyote" Rather sent away to the ACME corporation (aka the Kerry Campaign) for yet another explosive device to stop George W. "Road Runner" Bush. Of course, the device misfired and blew away the ledge on which both Wiley and the ACME corporation were standing. Now they're both headed for the canyon floor fast, getting smaller and smaller. Soon we won't be able to see them. But round about dawn on November 3, there will be a moment's silence and then a soft, distant "piff" and a small circle of dust.
-- Mrs. John B. Jackson III
Grosse Pointe, Michigan

So, it's not enough that the bias of the media has become even more obvious, and it's not enough that the CBS and the democrats are so desperate that they are willing to give national, nay, international play to documents of uncertain origin. No, now they want to say that it was Karl Rove's doing! Unbelievable! If only they could see how much they resemble their own mascot, the jackass! Don't underestimate the American people - they take a lot, they get duped more than they ought, but in the end they are not stupid. I hope the whole sordid story comes out loud and clear, but I know it won't be through 99% of the media, so I'm thankful for the blogs! They are fast, smart, and clever. Watch out Dan Rather, et al.!
-- D.L. Meadows
Fullerton, California

Were the Killian memos done on a computer or a typewriter? Given the original documents, that's a trivial question that can be answered in five seconds by a blind person. Typewriters STRIKE the paper; just flip it over and feel the back. If you can't feel the keystroke impressions, it wasn't done by a typewriter. Either CBS was operating from copies of the documents, which is poor investigative practice, or they KNEW that it was a forgery. Sloppy or dishonest? Either way, I'll never believe them again.
-- Hugh A. L. Dempsey
Hampton, Virginia

According to your article some reporters believe this flap was engineered by Karl Rove. This is like some Arabs claiming that 9/11 was engineered by Israel.
-- Nathan Cheng
Anaheim, California

Karl Rove? I suppose logic like this would lead to us believing, like the Muslim community, that the Trade Center was leveled by a well executed Jewish plot, not Islamic radicals.
-- Gary Berthelson
Simi Valley, California

"The documents that CBS News used were not documents from any of Bush's personnel files from his time in the National Guard. Rather, CBS News stated that they were documents uncovered in the personnel files of Killian."

Shouldn't that be "personal files of Killian" not "personnel files of Killian?"
-- Buddy Yingling

That darned Karl Rove is one smart son-of-a-gun! He thought the whole thing up. Got those ignorant and desperate Democrats to fall for the whole thing, knowing they could easily get a liberal media source to "break the story".

So, the whole sorry plot is a product of his over-sized, always-working and scheming brain. Now the Democrats don't have to worry about being accused of grasping at straws, nor do they have to ask the question of who on their team was deceitful. Saves Terry McAuliffe a lot of work, doesn't it?
-- Joe Ellis
Sammamish, Washington

I think it's particularly interesting that those documents turned up six weeks ago on the researcher's desk. If you look at a calendar, you'll see that exactly six weeks ago the Democratic Convention ended, and they realized there was virtually no bounce in the polls. It must have become apparent to them then that they had to do something to counterbalance the Swifty's attacks.

Pulling this stunt seems to be very much in line with some of the seemingly "altered" documents (multiple Citations for one medal, signatories that served 11 years after Kerry left the service, questionable wording re the Silver Star medal, etc.) on the Kerry campaign website. Experts reviewing the 6 pages that Kerry has deigned to produce (out of the more than 100 pages, which are actually in his Navy file), have noted a number of inconsistencies.

If "60 Minutes" and Dan Rather are left with egg on their face, so be it! An enormous red flag should have been hoisted upon discovery that Killian's signatures and initials did not match. Bad reporting and a definite desperation to keep up with the cable news shows, which are running circles around the networks, are really the culprits here!
-- Megan Spanierman

I wonder when we moved from trusting people to trusting paper ?

Or is this just an excuse not to give equivalent time to the Swift Vets? i.e. no paper, no proof. The sworn affidavits of 10s of good citizens are treated as no where near as good as a forged document and some hearsay.

There was a day when verbal testimony (redundant phrase :-) was the only "truth" (documents meant little) in court.

Of course, once the MSM started demanding "paper" proof, the markets worked (demand created supply). It wouldn't ever occur to the Swift Vets to play this game. Which is another definition of "Honor."

Oh well.

Keep up the good work.
-- Ari Tai

P.S. The fakes remind me of another story: Child to father while walking down mall passing Tower Records. "Daddy, What's a record??"

I'd also like to meet these perfect typists, especially in an era of multiple-copy paper (carbon paper or funny chemicals). You can not back up and erase or use white-out, you just "XXXX" the mistake and continued typing.

Matt Drudge had to break the Monica Lewinsky story, TAS had to break Troopergate, etc. because the mainstream press said they had to verify the facts first. Isn't it strange that CBS dove from the highboard right into this pool of excrement without bothering to conduct a thorough investigation? Why did they have to spend so much time investigating when it involved Boy Clinton but could boldly forge ahead on a hit piece on Bush? Media bias anyone? Oh, it was Karl Rove's fault!
-- Tim Birdnow

Oh puhleeze.

In Washington Prowler, Anatomy of a Forgery, published 9/10/2004, the final paragraph says "According to one ABC News employee, some reporters believe that the Kerry campaign as well as the DNC were parties in duping CBS, but a smaller segment believe that both the DNC and the Kerry campaign were duped by Karl Rove, who would have engineered the flap to embarrass the opposition."

This is just like what you hear out of the Middle East all the time. Israel is behind the destruction of the twin towers to make the Muslims look bad. Israel blows up its own busses and restaurants to make the Palestinians look guilty.

So now every time Kerry or the DNC or their media minions shoot themselves in the foot, it's going to be because Karl Rove is behind the scenes orchestrating things?

That's pathetic.
-- unsigned

Let's see if I understand all of the nuances of this latest "Sixty Minutes" flap correctly. Dan Rather would have us believe that: 1. The George W. Bush Texas Air National memos are 100% authentic. 2. If the documents turn out to have been forged, then it must have been a Republican "dirty trick." 3. If the documents in question are indeed false, then they clearly ought to be true. 4. George W. Bush was a deserter and John Kerry was a hero and let's just let it go at that. 5. MS Word existed during the 1970s and ran perfectly on DOS. 6. In spite of overwhelming evidence, Dan Rather isn't really a shill for the Democratic Party. 7. The truth is an inconvenience that should never be permitted to interfere with the political aims of CBS News. 8. Were he still living, Dr. Josef Goebbels could command a very large salary as a consultant or producer for CBS News.
-- Tillman L. Jeffrey
Manteca, California

Who denies access to 254 decorated war veterans of the Swift Boat Command in Vietnam with the biggest story in 2004? Dan Rather. Who doesn't disclose that he brings the Vice-Chairman of the Kerry Campaign in front of the American public to lie about Bush's National Guard service? Dan Rather. Who uses forged documents to prove his case against the President? Dan Rather. What an American. Not.
-- Dick McDonald

I'm shocked that CBS would do a hatchet job on G.W. Bush with out checking their source. After all, there is no media bias. If this turns out to be true, CBS has lost any shred of credibility it may have had. No wonder Fox is eating their lunch.
-- Ron Palick

Dan Rather and his pals so want to get rid of George Bush they are perfectly willing to sacrifice what little remains of their
credibility. The discrepancies are so obvious it would seem that any person of reasonable intelligence would have had serious qualms. I guess hatred tends to cloud one's judgment.
-- unsigned

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