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September 10, 2004

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JMack

Hmmmm.... Dan like most liberals belives that a lie is fine as long as the greater good is to bash a conservative. These people are without honor.

Paul Zrimsek

The really amazing thing about the clerk's appearance was that he was not asked whether he did any of his typing on a proportionally-spaced machine. From everything I've heard about those beasties, trying to get any work done on one is the sort of thing that would be seared, seared into one's memory.

Rather's overall tone could be summed up by paraphrasing a popular red-state bumper sticker: "I SAID IT. I BELIEVE IT. THAT SETTLES IT."

jack risko

Rather has a lot more problems besides the phony memos:

The Ben Barnes interview by Dan Rather set the table for the introduction of the phony memos about George Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard. The story line was: rich boy got undeserved special treatment, performed poorly, and lied about it ever since. Hence the credibility of Ben Barnes in that interview is important.

We already know that Barnes is the #3 Kerry contributor through bundling, and that Barnes has a past full of scandals, including allegations by federal prosecutors that Barnes bribed a lottery company executive to the tune of $500,000. These are issues that go to Barnes’ credibility. However, we didn’t learn these things from Dan Rather.

Nor did we learn about Dan Rather’s personal fund raising efforts on behalf of the Travis County Democratic Party, where Ben Barnes sits on the Finance Council. Rather raised $20,000 for the organization on March 21, 2001. Rather has extensive personal ties to Travis county: he owns a home in the Austin area, and his daughter Robin, an environmentalist and marketing executive, is said to have considered running for mayor of Austin as a Democrat. Rather has sometimes now said that he attended the fundraiser as a favor to his daughter, but he told Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post on April 4, 2001 that he agreed to appear “at the invitation of an old friend, Austin City Council member Will Wynn.” Rather’s appearance at a Democratic Party fundraiser was contrary to the official policies of CBS and most of the MSM.

Now, three years later, Rather interviewed the same fellow without disclosing the reporter’s previous involvement in raising money for the Democratic Party of Travis County, or his other, even larger, conflict of interest. If Robin Rather wants to have a future in Democratic politics in Austin, she needs the support of Ben Barnes and the other movers and shakers among Travis County Democrats, including those on the Finance Council.

Dan Rather had no business conducting the interview with Ben Barnes because of his extensive conflicts of interests. Since he chose to do the interview anyway, at a minimum he should have disclosed his conflicts, or CBS should have done so for him.

Brad DeLong

Are we not allowed to invoke the Silver Blaze standard here? I thought that the state of the art was that the documents *could* have been typed on an IBM Executive Model D that had had a special "th" superscript key, but that the key question was whether these documents looked different from other documents pumped out of Killian's office in the early 1970s. By now the White House has had people looking at documents pumped out of Killian's office for 48 hours. Are we allowed to make inferences from the fact that the White House hasn't popped its head up above the sandbags and said, "Hey! These don't like like other documents from Killian's office!"?

Jim Treacher

"[Insert name for Googling]"

Marcel Matley.

Jim Treacher

"Are we allowed to make inferences from the fact that the White House hasn't popped its head up above the sandbags and said, 'Hey! These don't like like other documents from Killian's office!'?"

Because they hardly need to at this point?

CT

Free Republic has already taken issue with the alleged existence of the Times (New) Roman font. Wasn't developed until 1980.

Go here: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1212662/posts

Cecil Turner

"Are we allowed to make inferences from the fact that the White House hasn't popped its head up above the sandbags and said, "Hey! These don't like like other documents from Killian's office!"?"

As long as we're allowed to make inferences on how CBS acquired the personal files of a man who's been dead 20 years . . . who apparently didn't keep personal files. Where did they get them from, anyway? Obviously not from his family.

And why, exactly, is CBS keeping the provenance of the documents a secret? And refusing access to the originals (or earlier generation copies)? Why were they copied so many times anyway? By all means, let's fight tooth and nail on this one. The longer it stays on page 1 the better.

Greg F

Brad,

The 'state of the art' means he could have typed them on the moon too. Would you believe that if CBS told you? CBS did not, I repeat, did not show these documents could be typed on anything that existed at the time. The document dated May 4th has the top 3 lines center justified, a feature not available on any electric typewriter (read requires memory). Making inferences that the White House is obligated to 'prove a negative', is shifting the burden of proof and logically flawed. CBS made a claim that was challenged. The burden of proof is theirs. The so called expert, Marcel Matley, is a "Handwriting Analyst", a dubious profession with the credibility of a snake oil salesman. CBS answer to the charges of fraud was to substitute style for substance, disgusting.

Jumbo

Now let's not be too hard on Dan and CBS; they had just as relaxed a standard of proof when they broke the story on all the Kerry/Vietnam stuff....didn't they?

Paul Zrimsek

Which documents count as coming from Killian's office? There are already a number of them out there from the 111th (or 111th) FIS that don't look anything at all like the CBS ones.

Paul Zrimsek

Just found out that superscript tags don't work here. That's really going to cramp our style.

ed

Hmmmm.

Here's something interesting. The guy who runs the IBM Selectric website (http://www.selectric.org) has decided to make a comment about all this. Pretty interesting!

For those who want my opinion...the documents appear to be done in Word, and then copied repeatedly to make them "fuzzy". They use features that were not available on office typewriters the 1970s, specifically the combination of proportional spacing with superscript font. The IBM Executive has proportional spacing, but used fixed type bars. The Selectric has changeable type elements, but fixed spacing (some models could be selected at 10 or 12 pitch, but that's all). The Selectric Composer was not an office typewriter, but apparently did use proportional spacing. These were very expensive machines, used by printing offices, not administrative offices.

He also includes a couple examples typed in Microsoft Word, IBM Executive and the IBM Selectric Composer.

TM

Are we allowed to make inferences from the fact that the White House hasn't popped its head up above the sandbags and said, "Hey! These don't like like other documents from Killian's office!"?

If you were a White House advisor, would you encourage them to wade into this?

IMHO, if the WH did that, the press would (reflexively and not unreasonably) take the other side and set out to prove that (a) the docs are legit; and (b) the WH is promoting a new set of lies.

What I infer from the WH silence is that they know enough to stand back when their opponent is preoccupied with a shovel and a self-filled hole.

MikeAdamson

Not at Washington & Lee apparently. That Robert Strong has a note up on his web page saying it must be another Robert Strong cause it ain't him.

Cecil Turner

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." --Napoleon Bonaparte

The Kid

Rather (with CBS News) is on a mission to call Bush’s TANG service into question. The 60 Minutes report with the memos allows the DNC slime alertto go forward and enables Ryan Lizza to write in The New Republic this and what follows:"To me, the most overlooked and most important new detail in these memos comes next. Killian writes, 'I advised him of our investment in him and his commitment.' It's often forgotten that even if Bush had gone off to Alabama and served honorably by showing up for all his drills, he was still walking out on a sworn commitment he made to the Guard." As if she really cared about the military...

Even if the documents are widely accepted as forgeries by, say, next Wednesday, the slander can move forward, spread. Most here know the facts, have read the York columns, old and new, but Rather and crew have come up with a creative interpretation and are on a mission to spread it. By sticking with their story they are succeeding.

Some of the MSM are assisting by pulling punches or spreading noise. None seem ready to call a fake a fraud.

Smaack

ABC is now reporting that Maj. Gen. Bobby Hodges is now recanting his support of the memos, saying he was mislead by CBS:

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/politics/NotedNow/Noted_Now.html

paperhat

This could be the Professor Robert Strong in question www.mbs.maine.edu/strong. I haven't seen the video from CBS, but this Dr. Strong's resume has a military background at the appropriate time.

Brad DeLong

"The document dated May 4th has the top 3 lines center justified, a feature not available on any electric typewriter (read requires memory)."

Hmmm... I learned to center headlines on a *manual* typewriter in summer typing class in... 1972, I believe.

I do think that our host and master ought to enable the superscript tag for the next week or so. It would make life much easier...

ATM

That Professor Strong makes no mention of TANG.

ATM

But would you go through the effort of typing a centered header on every memo that you put out.

Probably doesn't matter since most people who know Killian seem to think he wouldn't have typed anything up, certainly not any private memos. The reason why these documents were typed up because forging a handwritten note would be much more difficult and because the people who created them didn't know much about Killian.

J_Crater

Pathetic, truly pathetic.

Yo Dan, I think this qualifies as a FUBAR.

When you get a little religion, remember to straighten out the story of the map show how Bush intended to crave up the Iraqi oil fields you did back in Feb 04, too.

Cecil Turner

"Hmmm... I learned to center headlines on a *manual* typewriter in summer typing class in... 1972, I believe."

I also learned that method (center, then back 1/2 space per letter). But that assumes a constant pitch--and if you try it with this heading, you'll find you're about one space off on the top line (because backing up 17 spaces won't take into account the smaller size of the 1's leading off the first line).

It also should be obvious that you can't manually center a proportional font by counting spaces (because they're irregular).

ATM

By the way Brad, did you learn how to center text in a proportional font. It is quite a bit more difficult then centering monospaced text, since you would have to calculate the length of each line based on the actual characters in the line, and then figure how many spaces would fit in that same amount of space.

Greg F

"Hmmm... I learned to center headlines on a *manual* typewriter in summer typing class in... 1972, I believe."

Ummm ... that document is not a single head line, it is 3 lines. The problem isn't centering them in the page, it is centering them relative to each other. I imported an image into AutoCad to see how close the center justification matched up for the 3 lines. The centers match to plus and minus 0.0033 inches.

Jumbo

I'm a pessimist, and usually fear every smear job they fling at Bush will stick because of such widespread "suspension of disbelief" as OM has engaged in about all things bad for Bush. But this is not going to take.

ABC, for purely revenue and competition reasons, sees a tremendous opening and is piling on the bad-forgery angle. It's definitely in their interest for CBS to be humiliated not just as dupes, but as willing tools. ABC is interested in CBS looking as bad as possible, and will lay it on thick. heh

Angus Jung

"Hmmm... I learned to center headlines on a *manual* typewriter in summer typing class in... 1972, I believe."

And you could do it so perfectly that it would line up perfectly with the same document typed in MS Word 32 years later. Uh-huh. Well, that settles it. Nothing to see here, folks!

Greg F

Someone has attempted to duplicate part of a document on a Selectric Composer. He also has the same headers, from 2 different memos, match up with each other and also with one produced in Word.

TM

Is there a trick to enabling superscripts and strike-throughs? I am all ears.

And I may just solve this whole thinking on Monday, quite easily.

I will simply go to the CBS Studio, sit in Dan's chair, and broadcast a retraction and correction. They will allow me to do this because they will mistake me for Dan, and why wouldn't they? In CBS's World, Dan and I look the same.

Paul Zrimsek

Just go ahead and issue the retraction and correction now, Tom. Then Rather can deal with the key questions your retraction raises, without being distracted by questions about its authenticity. And you won't even have to change out of your pajamas.

Doug

You say that the expert authenticated the signatures. This is incorrect. He said the two different signatures were probably the same. We know that the expert did not have the originals so he could not authenticate that Killen signed the documents. Misdirection on the part of Rather. The expert gets trotted out to make a statement about the documents which doesn't disprove they are forgeries. I don't believe he stated that the documents were not forgeries, just the two signatures could have been written by the same person.

hcq

I dunno about >http://www.mbs.maine.edu/strong/>this Strong fellow.

He was born in 1950; doesn't CBS say Strong is 62?

He got his BS at West Point in 1972, which suggests to me he would have been a little too busy to be at TANG. From 1974-76 he was in Germany. And what would a West Point grad be doing as an ANG company clerk?

All his writings in military publications have been Army related.

There's that little window between his graduation and being stationed in Germany, but somehow (to this non-military person, at least) it seems implausible that he'd have spent any time in TX. If he did any ANG duty, wouldn't it have been more plausible for that to have occurred in New England?

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