Saturday, March 12, 2005


Well, As Long As You Are Asking...

On March 10th Jeanne Jakle asked readers to send her their memories of Dan Rather:
By the time you read this, of course, you'll have seen for yourself how Rather handled his goodbye. What about sharing those thoughts?

Okay Jeanne, as long as you are asking, here goes. I think it important to clear up some facts about the scandal most identified with Rather's career, the fake National Guard memos about President Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard. Here is Rather from the September 15th edition of 60 Minutes II:
The woman who describes herself as Colonel Killian's right hand during much of the 1970s. Marian Carr Knox, Colonel Killian's secretary, flew to New York this afternoon to tell us she believes the documents we obtained are not authentic. But there's yet another confusing twist to this story. She told us she believes what the documents actually say is exactly as we reported.

So now Dan, and many on the left, say that the documents are "fake, but accurate." Let's just forget for a second that saying that is like saying somebody is sort of pregnant. Not only does the Thornburgh Report conclude that the documents are fake, it concludes that the story itself was a lie. For instance, the report states the Mary Mapes knew that there was no waiting list to get in the guard:
Mapes indicated in the April 1999 email that she had been informed that there was no waiting list for President Bush's TexANG unit at the time he entered. She posited the "darkest spin" that then-Colonel Walter Staudt, then in charge of the 147th Fighter Interceptor Group, deliberately kept these spots open "to take in the children of privilege...while maintaining deniability." Mapes told the Panel that she never found any proof for this theory.

If that is so, why did Rather say there was in his "report" about the President? Furthermore, the report's own document expert concluded the documents were false:
1. The previously-released Texas Air National Guard documents had been created on an "Olympia manual typewriter."

2. The four disputed Killian memos "were not produced on an Olympia manual typewriter."

3. "The Killian documents were produced on a computer in Times New Roman typestyle."

Sounds pretty convincing to me. There is plenty more in the report that the MSM hasn't reported on. So the next time you hear someone say the President's guard service was less than honorable, don't believe them, CBS's own panel didn't. Goodbye Dan, and good riddance you hack.
So glad you posted on this. Countless media and entertainment figures have stated that the memos have never been proven fake, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Additionally, I was astonished last year to watch msm misquote, take out of context, oversimplify, or just ignore parts of the 9/11 Commission, Senate Intelligence, and Duelfer Reports. It was obvious that the reporters either didn't read the reports, or they spun them to make the administration look as bad as possible.
As I've noted before, it is not ridiculous or contradictory to suggest that the documents, while forged, are still factually correct. If someone forged a copy of the Constitution and tried to pass it off as an original, a historian might expose it as a fake, but that would not mean the contents of the document were a lie. The secretary said that while the document was forged, they contained information reflected in other memos she remembered seeing at the time.
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The Thornburgh report makes it clear that the documents were fake. In addition, it states that that the allegations made against Bush were false and that CBS knew they were false. As my comment says, Mary Mapes knew there was no waiting list for the ANG and so Bush did not receive preferential treatment to get in. Anyone who still claims otherwise is lying. There is no other way to put it.
This "fake but accurate" charade always misses a big point. Mike says that the fake memo information is consistent with contemporary memos. But, in fact, the fake memos specifically broke new ground by indicting Bush for deliberately disobeying an order to report for a physical (you remember that post, Mike, that you never found time to recant?). This was a whole different charge from anything that had been tossed around previously, in retrospect an obvious effort to use forged memos to ratchet up the "AWOL" charges to a new level.

The forged memos did NOT merely retype real memos that had been floating around in the mid-70s. "Fake but accurate" is "bullshit".
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