Powered by TypePad

« There Goes THAT Theory | Main | An E-mailer From Bizzaro World Looks For Kerry's Documents »

September 09, 2004



Ahhh ... a Rove pre-emptive reverse October Surprise in September.

I pity dem fools.


Or how about 'big' Dan himself, possibly with an assist from Mike?

"The ends justify the means".

They're certainly dumb enough to have done such an incrdibly sloppy job - see LittleGreenFootballs and Powerline for details on how obvious the forgeries are.

Fredrik Nyman

Might be helpful to remember that it isn't the first time 60 Minutes and its producer Don Hewitt have been skillful in order to make viewers see things their way.


Ironies of life...while looking for a contact number at CBS I came across this for contact information..

Contact Information

(Photo: CBS)

(CBS) CBS Evening News, Weekdays editions:

CBS Evening News with Dan Rather
524 West 57th St.
New York, NY 10019

E-MAIL: evening@cbsnews.com

CONSUMER ALERT: Know of a scam that needs investigating? Tell us about it! Email us at scams@cbsnews.com .

PHONE: (212) 975-3247


CBS Evening News, Saturday and Sunday editions:

CBS Evening News, Saturday Edition or,CBS Evening News With John Roberts
524 West 57th St.
New York, NY 10019

E-MAIL: weekends@cbsnews.com

PHONE: (212) 975-3247


Seems that CBS did one thing appropriately...putting the scam number right under Dan Rather's.

Rich DiNardo

This may be a situation similar to that of the Boston Globe running fake photos purportedly showing soldiers raping Iraqi women in Abu Graib prison, when in fact the pics were downloads from a Hungarian porn site. The Globe ran them because they wanted them to be true. Same here with CBS. And then they wonder why Fox is eating their lunch.


Maybe Rove leaked this to cause the networks to attack each other. I was shocked to hear that paragon of unfettered bias terry Moran of ABC go after the forgeries...I wouldn't have expected that so quickly.


I blame Joe Wilson. And the French. Hey, why not?

As with the Plame case, CBS' sources are now the story, and should be smoked out.


My counter conspiracy theory is as follow:

Recently due to the RNC convention bounce, Kerry campaign have to make drastic personell changes with plenty of Bill Clinton crew ending up calling shots. Kerry's old staff are kept merely as token. This give Clinton the perfect opportunity to torpedo Kerry campaign by flowing an obivous forgery, thus clearing the way for Hillary '08 run.

They'd also be right in figuring that CBS will be lazy and partisan enough to skip over document verification and fact checking. Afterall, if the information is coming from DNC and Kerry campaign, it must be good.


Look at the timing of this with respect to the Kitty Kelley book coming out in the next week or so. If CBS gets a big stick-in-the-eye (get it?) on this story, then (a) mainstream media may ratchet down coverage of the Kelley book or (b) at least the Republicans can pull out Reagan's line and say "There you go again..." and dismiss the book as more personal partisan crap.

Is Rove that smart? Reminds me of the scene in Rounders where Mike watches the tape of the World Series and sees Johnny Chan trap Eric Seidel to win the series. In order for this plan to have worked, Rove would have to have "known his man" (Rather) and known that he would jump on this to counter any bounce that Bush would get from RNC and that Dan would want to get it out AHEAD of the Kelley book to get himself in the spotlight. Any other timing just wouldn't work.

So, is Rove that smart?

Fredrik Nyman

Bigfire's comment that CBS thought the story was too good to check would make more sense if they were just reporting stuff they've gotten from AP or whoever.

But om this case, CBS role was quite a bit more involved; in addition to the memos, they were interviewing Barnes without disclosing relevant facts (known in the Blogosphere, and known to them) that might cast doubt on what he says -- his contradictory story, the problematic timeline, and for that matter his considerable financial support of Kerry.

So I would think that CBS' intentionally planted a bogus story, presumably following its established pattern.

The big question is who their accomplices were.

Jim Thomason

The thought that Rove "planted" these forgeries is absurd. Even if you think that he might be that devious/dishonest, there was simply no need. Bush was sailing, Kerry was imploding. Why throw a wildcard into the mix?

The only reason to pull this bit - for EITHER side - is if you are seriously desperate. And which side is desperate?

Brad DeLong

Now presumably a lot of people have spent most of today comparing the CBS documents to other records pumped out of Killian's office in the early 1970s.

If the CBS documents look different--different paper, different font, different word choice--I think we would have heard about it by now, wouldn't we?

But maybe we'll hear about it tomorrow...


This is a real poke in the eye.
I think it absurd to believe that either campaign was anything to to with generating forged memos.
Any Karl Rove counter-dirty-tricks dirty trick would have the possibility of early blowback if CBS were to determine the documents were forgeries. Gutsy, but even the great Karl Rove isn't that good.
A simple application of Occam's Razor demands that this plot should be laid at the feet of Bush-haters, but that doesn't necessarily mean the Kerry campaign. The cast of characters in the hate-Bush fan club is larger than .. well it's real big.
No matter, CBS has some splaning to do. First, are they forgeries ? If so, why weren't they discovered to be forgeries before ? Who tendered them ? Who's minions are they ?


An email I sent to CBS....


I think I just have been a "victim" of a huge scam. 60 minutes did a segment on President Bush's supposed irregularities in service during his TXANG duties. This, based solely on documents provided by a Democratic group "Texans for Truth". These documents were not, apparently, properly looked at before basing a news report on them.

CBS had these documents "reviewed by experts". They did a poor job if they did. Especially considering the font, superscript, and other independent expert's testimony refuting this. I know the technology existed, but was certainly not available to a National Guard unit in TX. With the budgets of the 70's, if would be hard pressed for a Sq Commander to have access to the technologies used in the memos.

I wish that you would "investigate" the perpetrators of this myth of "newly discovered" documents and have a 60 minutes segment on how they were misled, and by whom. The US public deserves the truth from our media!

Until this happens, I personally will refuse to ever watch a CBS News program again and will actively petition the advertisers who support these programs to cease and desist. I feel my duty is to advocate the lack of media bias for candidates of one party or another.

Please correct the record on this issue. I have watched 60 minutes for over 20 years and now feel betrayed by a partisan attack by an obviously biased (once trusted) source.




I fully intend to send emails to their adverstisors!!!

Brad DeLong

Well, CBS thinks that the documents "match the appearance of other documents created at the same place and time." We'll find out tomorrow (after a day spent rummaging through other documents from Killian's office) whether the White House agrees...


That doesn't surprise me one bit, Brad. The fact that no one can actually link the documents back to Killian's files probably isn't even on CBS' radar.

Cecil Turner

I think providing information on where they got them and who vetted them would be a bit more convincing.

So far, the most persuasive reason to accept them as genuine is that they really aren't very damaging. (The only one that would be a real issue is the order to get a flight physical--and that one is superseded by the phone discussion two weeks later.) And that's not real persuasive.

Why is CBS hiding the source, anyway?

John Bigenwald

Dr. DeLong,
Nice try. I have to admire your persistence. But whistling past the graveyard is still whistling past the graveyard.

I can't see how this turns out good for Kerry. If the documents are faked it's a tragedy for Kerry, regardless of his involvement. If they are real we are still talking about a tangential issue. As much as Democratic partisans may want, President Bush isn't running on his drill attendance in Alabama.

Im sure you will say that this points out other flaws in the President's character. Well, as Senator Dole said, "Where's the outrage?"

Les Nessman

heh. This story (Bush was AWOL, Bush got special treatment, etc..)was nothing more than an old, mudstained sideshow anyhow. Partisan 'gotcha' politics over insignificant events thirty years ago. It's not like Bush said 'Re-elect me based on my military service back in the early 70's! Go ahead, closely examine my military record from 30 years ago! I dare you to!'. Kerry, however, did just that. (Be careful what you ask for, JohnJohn.)

If it turns out that there were forged docs in a big-time MSM story too, well then that will just be icing on the cake.

Paul Zrimsek

Who vetted the documents? The smart money says it's the same guys who fact-checked their Audi "sudden acceleration" and Alar stories.

Cecil Turner

And as far as appearance goes, I can't imagine they look any more like documents coming out of the TANG than they look like Charles's attempt to recreate them in Word. "Trust us" isn't going to fly on this one.


Suspicions around the watercooler at work this PM:
- Rove dirty trick
- Stupid Democrat trick
- Rival news network trick
- Drunk J-student trick

One thing: it was a subtle trick, if that: a forgery good enough to pass a quick inspection at CBS, but clumsy enough so that when the documents were released to the public to be debunked. Perhaps it was sent to CBS at the last minute so that the network didn't have time to get a really top-flight expert to look at them.

Cecil Turner

Drudge has the latest from CBS, and it's a better story:

CBS NEWS executives have launched an internal investigation into whether its premiere news program 60 MINUTES aired fabricated documents relating to Bush National Guard service, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned...



You know what? If Karl Rove really is behind this then I'm going to go borrow a couple million dollars and pay the man to get me elected to Congress.

Who the hell needs a stuffed resume and experience at that point???



CBS may "think" whatever it wants about the documents.

1. The three or four nationally known experts willing to be cited by name (in contrast to the unnamed CBS experts) agree that the preponderance of evidence suggests the documents are fake. The superscript "th"s, kerneling and proportionate spacing all strongly suggest forgery, especially the superscript "th"s.

2. The scanned copies of the signatures posted on the internet sure look different to my untrained eye.

3. If you type one of the memo's into Microsoft Word using the default font and margins, the words fall onto exactly the same lines as in the CBS memo supposedly from the early 1970s. What are the odds of that happening by random chance?

Why should anyone care what CBS thinks, anymore?


CBS thinks that the documents "match the appearance of other documents created at the same place and time."

If they are looking at Killian's personal file, rather than, for example, government archives, there may be other innocuous forgeries placed in the files to lend authenticity to the smoking gun docs.

But how can it be that CBS studied these docs, yet various reporters make a few phone calls and leading experts peer at a .pdf file and proclaim them to be forgeries?

If it is that easy, how did CBS blow it?

Ok, how did the Globe run porno ostensibly from Abu Grahib? How did Nick Kristof endorse Bob Mintz of "Texans for Near-Truth"?


It's so embarrassing, I can't even gloat properly. Damnit all. Even Terry McAuliffe wouldn't have done something that stupid.


Good list of Whodunnits over at pacetown.

Steel Turman

Do you suppose that these documents were part of the cache of Rose law firm records?


From WP: The Democratic National Committee sought to fuel the controversy yesterday by holding a news conference at which Sen. Tom Harkin (Iowa) pointed to the documents as a fresh indictment of Bush's credibility.


The Kid

Slartibartfast is right, but too kind.
Whoever vetted the phony docs with such obvious errors barely qualifies to work in a salad.
Lettuce prey…
For in this battle of wits,
The mainstream media are disarmed
By their own hand.


I just tried calling the number listed to complain and I got an automated mail saying that the mailbox was full... guess you all got there first :-)


The American Spectator has some informed speculation about background details of the forgeries.

According to their "unnamed sources" the doc's were given to CBS by either the Kerry campaign or the DNC.

Reportedly a DNC opposition researcher obtained them from a retired military officer.

That's one version starting to float around out there.



Drudge posted the spectator.org link above and it seems the servers have seized up for the moment.

Another tidbit:

" . . . The CBS producer said that some alarms bells went off last week when the signatures and initials of Killian on the documents in hand did not match up with other documents available on the public record, but producers chose to move ahead with the story. 'This was too hot not to push. If there were doubts, those people didn't show it,' says the producer, who works on a rival CBS News program."

LTC Killian-Jessup

You want a conspiracy? You can't handle a conspiracy!

The forgeries were set out to deliberately tap the blogosphere!

Throw out a basic set of forgeries. Watch as the blogosphere (much of it conservative) tell you what's wrong with it. Typeface? Gee hadn't thought of that. Signature? Whoops! Language? Hmmm, get me an older set of memos.

Okay, come late October, release a new set of documents, this time correcting for typeface and font, signature, language, etc., when the Bushies don't have time to respond at all.

'Course, given the length of time it took (less than 24 hours), the CONSPIRACY will have to release this on November 1, or so, and then you might not make the news cycle....


This just in: The originator of these documents has been found. A picture of the perpetrator can be viewed here; http://home.houston.rr.com/epasveer/ More information as soon as the bananas ripen.

Bob Hawkins

Paul Zrimsek: You mention the 60 Minutes Alar story. It may be very appropriate. (Alar was a chemical used by apple growers. The story was that Alar in apples caused children to get sick. It was a huge issue for a while, but is now forgotten.)

The Alar story was not developed by CBS News. It was given to them by the PR firm Fenton Associates. One of Fenton's conditions was that CBS not have the story checked by independent experts before broadcast. CBS said "yeah sure."

If that attitude still exists at 60 Minutes, it would explain a lot.


How about Dan and Ben Barnes working together and then Barnes slipping them to the DNC/Kerry campaign? Both dishonest enough - see Barnes' 'career' history - hate Bush enough and totally unaware of what the internet can do.


Brad: "We'll find out tomorrow (after a day spent rummaging through other documents from Killian's office) whether the White House agrees..."

I doubt, at this point, the White House and/or the Shrub campaign will deign make any direct response. Rather (so to speak), --and in the fashion of the their non-response regarding the Swift Boaters -- they will generally note the deplorable gullibility of the news media. Shrub's agents will remarks upon the propsensity to highlight bad news and downplay corrections. They may, if clever, point out that Senator Kerry is (also) avoiding direct interviews with the major media, and suggest that BOTH campaigns have been unfairly attacked at various times by reckless and ignorant journalists. They'll then conclude that the public should ignore any future such "revelations" as more of the same.

Paul Zrimsek

My thanks to Mr. Hawkins: I remembered that CBS' involvement in the Alar story was discreditable, but I'd forgotten that it was discreditable in that particular way.


'CBS thinks that the documents "match the appearance of other documents created at the same place and time." '

Yup. White paper. Black ink. Looks the same to me!


Few seem to notice the use of the word "feedback".

Anyone remember that term being used in the 70's.....80's (maybe late 80's)?

Someone should ask the son and widow if he ever used the term before he died....in the early 80's.

If "feedback" isn't the biggest "tell" of all time......

Cambodia Koolaid

The liberal press thought their manufactured "answer to the Swift Vets" would work against Bush because they assumed the Swift Vets were lying and drew the wrong lesson: "lying works".

While Liberals decided the "smear boat vets" were liars by the fundament that Kerry could not lie, more open-minded people saw real problems with Kerry's war tales, such as his Christmas in Cambodia stories: they seemed to contradict the historical record (e.g. Johnson was President in 1968 when Kerry said "President Nixon" was "seared, seared" in his memory).

The left-wing media missed the single most important feature of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth that gave the mouse its roar: Truth. Truth, as this election will prove, is worth more than the 20-1 funding advantage of MoveOn.org. It is worth more than the 15 point "youthful glow" for Kerry promised in a surprising moment of candor by a Newsweek editor. It is worth more than fake turkeys, fake boos, and fake memos. Yet the liberal press remains clueless -- because they follow a fundamentally flawed axiom to its tragic extreme end.

I believe that the hard left, including the press, CONTINUE TO BELIEVE KERRY WAS IN CAMBODIA, even after the Kerry campaign itself admitted he was not. You can see it on their websites, in the way they write, the stories they invent, and in particular in their desperate hope for their new magic Swift potion, forged "Bush AWOL" memos.

They honestly think the Swift Vets lied their way to the top, that Kerry really was in Cambodia. This explanation, in the tradition of Occam's Razor, is the simplest fit for big media's otherwise-inexplicable behavior:

"A pack of underfunded 527 amateurs lied about Cambodia, and it moved the polls 10 points," the mainstream press reasoned, "so our lies should be worth 15 -- we're professionals!"

Anyone who is the least bit surprised by the mainstream press forgeries needs to understand that they think the Swift Vets are no better than a CBS photoshop jock, that Kerry's war stories were true -- even those he himself has recanted. Like David from the movie "AI" locked in an endless loop praying to a plastic doll, THEY STILL BELIEVE KERRY WAS IN CAMBODIA.

James D. Littell

This is simply amazing: This card kerrying commie from Mass. is still out of prison.......at the very minimum he should be in jail for several UCMJ violations and federal statutes to and including: conspiracy to commit murder..........never mind Treason.......which he has already committed to the letter by giving aid and comfort to the North Vietnamese.........

Common back to Michigan and personally ask this veteran for my vote.......so I can slap you silly. How stupid do you think the American public actually is? Is is a little bit dumb? OR....Just flat out morons? Keep your response to English please......remember we're stupid.


I wonder of the Clintons are trying to help Bush out! We all know that she wants to be president and in eight years she will be too old! So if they get someone to produce these documents and know that they will be found to be forgeries, Bush will score more points! PS I am not a Kerry fan!


I wonder of the Clintons are trying to help Bush out! We all know that she wants to be president and in eight years she will be too old! So if they get someone to produce these documents and know that they will be found to be forgeries, Bush will score more points! PS I am not a Kerry fan!

The comments to this entry are closed.