Dan Rather says the “thrust” of his forgery is true, but assures Americans that once he gets to the bottom of his forgeries he will authenticate the inauthenticity of them. “I’d like to break that story,” he says — a statement so beyond parody it almost gives off a whiff of senility. Meanwhile, Rather’s elite friends politely avert their gaze, treating Rather like a doddering guest at one of their dinner parties. None seem too eager to help Rather “break” the story on his forgery.
Rather could ferret out his forgery quite easily, but, you see, he is duty-bound to protect the confidentiality of the forger. No conscientious journalist would rat out a forger. Imagine the damage that would do to the profession. Forgers might never talk to reporters again.
How did Dan Rather become the Kinko’s copy boy for the Democratic party? Dan Rather won’t break this story, but the Kinko’s in Abilene might. It stands ready to cooperate with investigating authorities.
A former Kinko’s employee in California tells TAS (in an e-mail and phone interview) that Kinko’s may be able to solve the mystery. “My suspicion is that the 20-mile automobile drive to Kinko’s by Burkett may not have been only to fax the documents. Fax machines are probably available a lot closer to Bill Burkett’s home, if not at his home,” the ex-employee said in an e-mail. “As a former Kinko’s ‘computer services’ employee, I once created documents for customers. I never knowingly created a false document. But I was asked several times to do just that sort of thing and refused.”
What happens at Kinko’s stays at Kinko’s — in their computer files. As the former employee noted: “It is possible that Kinko’s created this document. Unless the Kinko’s employee had knowledge of the scheme, he or she could have innocently done the basic typesetting…There may be a record of it. If Burkett paid for this with a credit card, there would be a record, too.”
“The forged files could be on the computer services department typesetting computer used exclusively by an employee. Someone should ask. Perhaps the District (State) or U.S. Attorney should send investigators with warrants,” the ex-employee writes. “The affixing of a signature by Bill Burkett could have occurred after the document was created, right there at Kinko’s. A few generations of copies with the pasted-on signatures — or forged signatures — and you have a felony committed at Kinko’s.”
Another way to trace the forgery, the former employee learned at Kinko’s, would be to examine the “minute signature” that each individual copy machine leaves on documents, which “can be detected by the FBI.”
“This is part of the anti-counterfeiting measures the government has in place,” he noted.
“Some real enterprising reporter should go question Kinko’s in Abilene about this. Perhaps even the District Attorney or U.S. Attorney would want to know if Kinko’s was the site of customer-engineered fraud and forgery…”
Rather says he wants to break the story that broke upon him? Here’s his chance. How Rather went from a fundraiser for Texas Democrats to a conduit for their forgeries is a tale Rather could best tell.
But he won’t. Having raised $20,000 for Travis County Democrats, Rather’s connection to the fetid waters of the forgery are deep enough to sink him. Burkett’s lawyer is David Van Os, a former chairman of the Travis County Democratic party. Just as Rather calls the forgery a true lie — that is, a deception that draws attention to a “core truth” — so does Van Os, who said to the press: “If, hypothetically, Bill Burkett or anyone else, any other individual, had prepared or had typed on a word processor, as some of the journalists are presuming, without much evidence, if someone in the year 2004 had prepared on a word processor replicas of documents that they believed had existed in 1972 or 1973, which Bill Burkett has absolutely not done, what difference would it make?”
A forgery Kitty Kelley wouldn’t touch is suddenly a matter of indifference. Rather has left his journalistic reputation in Texas with a Kinko’s caper in Abilene.
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