Saturday, September 11, 2004

You spin Me round round...

Last night Dan Rather and CBS News responded to the alegation that documents used in his "piece" on the president's National Guard service were fakes.

There are many problems that remain with their story and responce:

1. The Washington Times: reports that "A handwriting expert says the two""A handwriting expert says the two signatures
on purported Texas National Guard memos aired by CBS News this week are not those of President
Bush's squadron commander, as asserted by "60 Minutes."

2. states that:
" Retired Maj. General Hodges, Killian's supervisor at the Grd, tells ABC News that he feels CBS misled him about the documents they uncovered. According to Hodges, CBS told him the documents were "handwritten" and after CBS read him excerpts he said, "well if he wrote them that's what he felt."

" Hodges also said he did not see the documents in the 70's and he cannot authenticate thedocuments or the contents. His personal belief is that the documents have been "computer generated" and are a "fraud".

3.The man named in a disputed memo as exerting pressure to "sugar coat" President Bush's military record left the Texas Air National Guard a year and a half before the memo was supposedly written.

4. CBS's response did not address the concerns of the late Lt. Col's Son that these appear to be fake Nor did they address the concerns of His Widow that the memos were out of charicter for her husband.

5. CBS's claim that the superscript appears in other documents appears to Fall on its Face also.

6. In addition, the The daughterof Former Texas House Speaker Ben Barnes, the subject of Dan's interview, states that :
"I love my father very much, but he's doing this for purely political reasons. He is a big Kerry fund-
raiser and he is writing a book also. And [the Bush story] is what he's leading the book off with. ...
He denied this to me in 2000 that he did get Bush out [of Vietnam service]. Now he's saying he did."

7. Finally, they still not have addressed the problems with the memo statedHere, Here, and Here

Here is how I see this playing out:

CBS will claim that their "Sources" and their forensic investigators stand by their claim that the documents are authentic. Other News organizations and the blogsphere will parade their experts showing that they are forgeries. We now have a stalemate and it is up to the public to decide which experts to believe, kind of like how a Jury decides whether to believe the plaintiff's expert or the defense's experts in a liability case. The problem is, the issue will soon become muddled with so many opinions that public will not care and a resolution will never come about. I did not expect a CBS admission, even if they are fake, because they loose more from that admission then if they fight it and confuse the issue thereby confusing the public so most people will become bored with the issue and forget about it. The ONLY way this thing will be resolved is by a Criminal investigation.