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September 08, 2004


Brad DeLong

Of course no mention of the missed physical... or the suspension for failing to meet USAF/TexANG standards... or the pressure to rate Bush even though he hadn't been seen in Texas and nobody in Alabama could be found to rate him...

Byron York's in a different business than you are...



I seem to remember coming across a post about a reward of $10,000 for anyone will to swear under oath that they saw Bush in Alalbama. I think it referred to salon.com.
It would sure seem like John "Bill" Calhoun and/or James Copeland could be in line to get some of that money.
If anyone knows where the are, refer them to salon.com


Thank you, prof. For Mr. Crater, wherever we may find you, the Texans for truth website links to the article to which you refer. Looks like $3,500.

Salon.com, Bush’s missing year, By Eric Boehlert Salon.com, February 5, 2004)

And a warning to early readers - I am undertaking a work-in-progress gear shift to allow for the vague possibility that Kristof was incompetent, rather than deceitful. My generous heart.

Mark Kleiman

Kristof made a mistake, but it's not a material one or one that clears your guy.

In fact, 1LT Bush flew for less than two years after he finished that million bucks' worth of training. In his autobiography, he talks of having flown for "several years" after his training was complete. (How time flies when you're flying?) Note that the autobiography, unlike Kristof's column, was written (allegedly) by the person in best position to know the facts, and not on deadline.

So if you're willing to call Kristof a liar, what are you willing to call the guy who's actually on the ballot this November?

1LT Bush then refused a direct order to complete his flight physical, thus grounding himself. I'm waiting for his friends to explain how disobedience to a direct order constitutes honorable service.


Here are some examples of Kerry’s “honorable” service:

* He secretly connived a Purple Heart after his commanding officer rejected his claim.
* While serving in Vietnam, Kerry claims to have committed war crimes.
* Kerry abandoned his Vietnam command after four months and left the fighting to lesser mortals.
* While still a Navy officer, he met with the North Vietnamese in Paris and began demanding the US abide by the communist peace proposals.
* While still a Navy officer, he lied under oath about American atrocities in Vietnam.
* Kerry refuses to release his military records, so we do not know how often he was AWOL from his reserve duties.
* As a Presidential candidate, Kerry expropriated Lt. Peck’s war record and place Peck’s battles on Kerry’s web site.
* As a Senator, he was AWOL from 76% of the Intelligence Committee meeting.
* Kerry refuses to release his attendance records for the secret meetings.
* As a Senator, Kerry was AWOL for 90% of this year’s Senate votes, but he still draws 100% of his pay. I guess his wife does not give Kerry a very large allowance.

Yeah, “honorable” conduct is a winning theme for Kerry.

Cecil Turner

"or the pressure to rate Bush even though he hadn't been seen in Texas and nobody in Alabama could be found to rate him..."

If you have evidence to support this claim, you ought to trot it out. Pressuring superior officers is a very serious charge, and would completely change the complexion of the dispute. If, however, you're basing this on the fact Lt Bush received a "non-observed" fitness report (a very common practice), you're damaging your credibility among knowledgeable readers.

"1LT Bush then refused a direct order to complete his flight physical, thus grounding himself."

Again, a serious claim. "Direct order" isn't really defined under the UCMJ, but the common usage is for an order given in person by a superior officer. Obviously the willful nature of disobeying such an order makes it more serious (and is the difference between article 90 and article 92). But AFAICT there's no evidence of such an order being given to Lt Bush--so his failure to get a flight physical was the garden variety failure "to obey any lawful general order or regulation." The absence of any investigation afterward implies his commander didn't have any major heartburn with it--and may even have granted permission--which would make it a non-event.

This whole issue is hilarious. The same accusations the Kerry camp made about the Swifties (i.e., politically motivated liars) are far more valid when applied here. The obvious payback intent further erodes credibility, as does the concerted attempt to rehash old scandals. But the bottom line is: "who cares"? Bush isn't running on his National Guard service, he's running on the last four years. TANG records are of little interest to anyone but historians at this point, and the desperate attempt to sling some mud and hope some sticks is particularly unattractive. The MSM's disparate treatment (vs the Swiftvets' ads) also provides a stark contrast. This has "backlash" written all over it.

J Mann

The weird thing is that the papers are all over Bush for not fulfilling his reserve service while in grad school. Is there any evidence that Kerry fulfilled his reserve service in 1970-72? (Maybe he did; I can't say).


I hope it's obvious that, although I lost a bit of self-editorial discipline, ny lede is the Mintz deception, not the two years, four years question.


A different set of questions:

1. Did the ANG obligation rest on time (i.e., 6 years) or on points? If Dubya had enough points in, say, 5 years, did that obviate his sixth year's requirements?

2. Although Mintz appears in an ad paid for by a partisan Democratic organization, that does not, in and of itself, obviate his comments, any more than John O'Neill's comments are obviated by his appearing in an ad that is aimed at Dubya. (Technically, Moveon.org's arms and SBVT are equivalent.)

The questions that arise about his appearance are:

a. Did he know who the people were (i.e., affiliation) who were funding/filming the ad?
b. Why did he film the ad? (And "To tell the truth" should elicit the same reaction for him as for O'Neill. Goose, gander.)

Cecil Turner

That the main point was Mintz's credibility seemed fairly clear. Another obvious problem with his testimony is that, unless he looked for Bush every day for months on end, the likelihood of him looking on the few specific days Bush would have been present is minimal. And why was he looking for him in the first place? Obviously he was told by somebody that he was around. Even without bringing up motivation, "compelling witness" is a bit of a head-scratcher.

All of which would be worth investigating, if the underlying question was of any real interest. But except for the further decline of MSM credibility (and the related academic issue of how it'll be perceived by the electorate), there's not much here.

"Did the ANG obligation rest on time (i.e., 6 years) or on points?"

Time. But when Palace Alert ended in 1970, F-102 pilots became dinosaurs. By 1972, Lt Bush's obligation was more of a burden than an asset to the ANG. As Vietnam wound down, and more experienced pilots returned to too few flying slots, they were more than happy to release excess nuggets.

Brad DeLong

Cecil Turner recites the talking points well. But I think those talking points are obsolete: they're not in accord with what Killian wrote in his memos:

"Phone call from Bush.... Says he wants to transfer to Alabama.... We talked about him getting his flight physical situation fixed.... [He says he] may not have the time. I advised him of our investment in him and his commitment.... [I] think he's also talking to someone upstairs."

" On this date I ordered that 1st Lt. Bush be suspended from flight status due to failure to perform to USAF/TexANG standards and failure to meet annual physical examination (flight) as ordered.... request for orders for suspension and convening of a flight review board IAW AFM 35-13... fill this critical billet with a more seasoned pilot from the list of qualified Vietnam pilots that have rotated...."

"Staudt has obviously pressured Hodges more about Bush. I'm having trouble running interference and doing my job.... Bush's OETR and Staudt is pushing to sugar coat it: Bush wasn't here during rating period and I don't have any feedback from 187th in Alabama. I will not rate.... I'll backdate but won't rate...."

Doesn't sound like a happy camper at all to me.


I've noticed that non-military organizations have a real problem with the concept of a non-commissioned officer. Unless the writer/reporter is familiar with the difference between commissioned, warrant, and noncommissioned officers they lump us all together into the blanket "officer". It's not elitist of Kristof to do so, it's lazy, incompetent, or clueless. Maybe a combination of the three.


Mintz is quoted in the CBS article linked by Drudge as saying he doesn't really know if Bush showed up or not.


It would be pretty funny if Bush, when asked about these allegations from Mintz, recalled him as a throne-sniffing drunk and told reporters that he purposely ducked him.

I really wish I could still be outraged by a Times reporter in the tank. That Paxil really works.


"Bush wasn't here during rating period and I don't have any feedback from 187th in Alabama. I will not rate.... I'll backdate but won't rate...."

Sounds like he needed information from people in Alabama and didn't get it. Consequently, he did not deem it appropriate to rate Bush. Okay.

So is it Bush's fault this officer didn't get the information he, rightly, perceived was appropriate?
Is the only conclusion that it was some perverse political pressure that prevented proper procedures from being fulfilled? Or is it possible that Bush's rater here was told to square it away, without total documentation, because things were winding down and that perfectly establishing anyone's status wasn't that big a deal at the time since they had excess pilots at this point?
Absent evidence that Bush willfully disobeyed orders or did something completely unheard of in these instances how can anyone honestly conclude anything one way or another?
Besides, its funny to see people like Delong parse these details in as nefarious light as possible yet they ignore someone claiming to be a hero accepting a Purple Heart for a scratch.
I don't know if Bush was all perfectly honorable in his service or not. I do know that "heros" don't accept, much less solicit, Purple Hearts for a scratch.


Sure wish someone would blend the information and help sort out the noise. What about all the information here: http://www.americandaily.com/article/4807

Can't vouch for the accuracy of it, but it would sure be nice to see the main stream media check it out. It would spare me having to read unsubstantiated anguish.

cal '85

Boy, this is the stupidest discussion, and Kleiman and DeLong demonstrate just how puerile academics are. Who cares? This all happened 40 years ago. Clearly, (a) the truth cannot about either Bush or Kerry cannot be recovered with certainty and (b) it wouldn't have much bearing on their current character and fitness anyway. Why isn't the discussion about their politics over the past decade, which might be both knowable and relevant?

Cecil Turner


My familiarity with the system and "talking points" are a result of a couple decades as a military (Marine) pilot. But thanks for quoting the Killian memo. The stories I'd seen so far (like this one) haven't been particularly useful, as they draw dubious conclusions from incomplete quotes). If anyone has seen the entire text of Killian's memos, I'd be obliged for a link.

Speaking of quotes, "On this date I ordered that 1st Lt. Bush be suspended . . ." is standard boilerplate for missing a physical. Evidence of a "direct order" would look a lot more like this: "On this date I ordered 1st Lt. Bush to obtain a flight physical IAW AFR XX.X." (Which is what a senior would normally give a lad who had indicated his unwillingess to follow direction.) Similarly, debates among commanders on how to rate officers is common (as is having raters and ratees performing duties in different locations)--and sometimes the decisions rankle the junior. Nor is it improper for an officer (e.g., Lt Bush) to appeal a commander's decison to a senior commander (though that will invariably annoy the former), as long as he informs the boss he's doing it. Which it appears he did. (And the argument would actually help explain the crappy evaluation paperwork.)


Brad said:

"... fill this critical billet with a more seasoned pilot from the list of qualified Vietnam pilots that have rotated....""

Cecil said"

"As Vietnam wound down, and more experienced pilots returned to too few flying slots, they were more than happy to release excess nuggets."

Points awarded to Cecil.


If reporters (and the people who publish them) could be sued for malpractice then Pinch Sulzburger would no longer have all those mansions, cars, Alpine ski vacations, et cetera.


The Dems have no clue. Questions about Kerry's military service resonate because they raise questions about whether he will vigorously prosecute the War on Terror (he won't). Bush has already demonstrated his resolve. That is why they will be dismayed to see how little bite these inane stories have and how much the next wave of Kerry bashing ads will.


take it like a man.


Don't forget to throw in the fact that the Air Guard was more than happy to get pilots off their rosters...there was a glut. Active duty guys trying to serve out their time in the Air Guard were squeezing out guys with less flight time. At the time, they were probably more than happy to let Bush and any number of other good pilots go.


Rankin, that point was made by no less than perfesser deLong above (see my comment on his exchange with Cecil above).

J Dolan

How does anyone know that Mintz was present during the period in question ? If he wasn't there part or all of the time, he would not have been able to see Bush, except thru the prism of Kristof's-retroglasses !


There was a "gotcha!" moment on television last night, on the CBS program "60 Minutes." It was not, however, a "gotcha!" moment for George W. Bush, the target of the "60 Minutes" hatchet job. It was a "gotcha!" moment for the mainstream media and CBS in particular. It was the moment when CBS deliberately misled its viewers about Ben Barnes, the former Texas Lieutanant Governor who claimed that he "pulled strings" to get the young Bush into the Texas Air National Guard in 1968.

There were two problems with this story. First of all, in 1999, the New York Times reported that Barnes had stated UNDER OATH that he did NOT have any contacts with the Bush family to get him to pull strings to get Bush into the TANG. That means one of two things: Either Barnes was a lying perjurer in 1999, or he's lying now. Either way, he is not a credible witness. No responsible media outlet would bring someone with this kind of credibility gap out to make these kinds of charges.

Even more importantly, CBS failed to disclose that Barnes is the VICE-CHAIR of John Kerry's campaign, that Barnes has raised $100,000 for Kerry's campaign and hundreds of thousands of dollars for other Democratic candidates over the years. Barnes disingenuously states that he's "not into the politics of gotcha" and that he's "not here to bring any harm to George Bush's reputation or his career." Which is horsesh*t. And CBS is presenting Barnes like he's somebody coming forward because of his conscience, and not telling us he's a partisan Democratic operative. Have you no shame, CBS?!

GOP.com has an article titled "Who is Ben Barnes?" and it contains the following:

"Ben Barnes Has Donated At Least $380,750 To Democratic Candidates And Campaign Bodies"

And CBS didn't have the journalistic integrity to mention this?!

It's really sickening. On the scale of sleaziness, journalists have now fallen below politicians, lawyers, used car salesman and telemarketers, and are now keeping company only with the prostitutes. The prostitutes are selling their vaginas. The journalists are selling their professional ethics and their journalistic integrity. The only difference between them is that, at the end of the day, the prostitutes still have their vaginas.


BarCode, the new talking points speculate that there was a go-between from the Bush family to Barnes. Hence, no direct contact.

And, of course, no way to confirm or falsify. Ideal campaign fodder.


Mintz in the "Texans for Truth" (ha ha) ad: "It would be impossible to be unseen in a unit of that size."

Mintz yesterday: "I cannot say he was not there ... Absolutely positively was not there. I cannot say that. I cannot say he didn't do his duty."


Ummm, contradiction?

John Rosenberg

Seemingly ignored in all the hoohah is that Kristof et. al. obviously now assume that lying/misrepresentation/whatever about one's military record is relevant to determining fitness for command.


Brad's a fine economist but he's politically clueless (a bit like Jeff Sachs and those other economists who advised on Russia's piratization in 1992-1995).

Kerry could very easily have knocked the issue off the table by saying, "When I was young, I made irresponsible accusations against my comrades in Vietnam. Those accusations were false, and I apologize for the pain they caused to my comrades and fellow officers." Note that Bush deftly and gracefully did the same in 2000 when he said, "When I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible." No one begrudges Prince Hal his chimes at midnight; what matters is today.

Had Kerry done so many months ago, John O'Neill would never have pushed the book or the ads and quite possibly would be stumping for Democrats along with his admired fellow trial lawyer John Edwards.

That Kerry would so foolishly put forth his Vietnam experience as his core claim to the presidency shows the man lacks, at a minimum, a grasp of the nature of political communication in a decentralized, internet age. And possibly that the man is so vain and narcissistic that he cannot recognize what a fool he's become.

I was leaning toward Kerry in July, but the man is showing himself to be a vain and shallow little man, next to whom Michael Dukakis looms a giant. If Kerry cannot handle such a trivial issue as this with any political deftness, how on earth will he handle Chirac, the Chinese, a nuclear Iran?


The CBS site has the Killian memos. They look remarkably modern. I was expecting something typed, but these appear typeset. Proportional-width fonts, even (Times New Roman, I think we'd call it now). Did that ANG unit have nice word processing equipment back then? Seems a lot of trouble for a memo-to-file. I'm not saying it's a forgery, it's just surprising.


George Bush the Nth, John Connally III, and Lloyd Bentsen III all served in the same TANG unit, it's said.

Can we get a review of Bentsen's and Connally's dates of service, just for comparison?

I mean, if Shrub got 300 hours per year of flight time in his first two years while Bentsen and Connally got 500 or 600, wouldn't that indicate something about Shrub? Or if Shrub's 300 is more than usual, likewise interesting. If Shrub got out after five while others in the "champaigne unit" accomplished the entire six, that would be indicative ... but if all the well-named officers somehow pulled short hitches, then that would indicate something else.

If we can find a bunch of tech sergeants and enlisted who remember Connally and Bentsen but not Shrub, that would be interesting. If not, then their failure to remember Shrub means very little.

If Connnally and Bentsen show "not observed" on several evaluations, what would that tell us about Shrub?

The thing about "Swift Boat" officers is that they are stacking their own records directly up against their one-time peer's" John Kerry's record. John O'Neill pulled a year-long tour, Kerry pulled 4.3 months, for trivial instance. The Swift Boat-ers are providing not just facts, but context.

The information on Shrub's record, so far, is (comparatively) isolated from historical context.

Wouldn't _you_ like to know how many of the Dallas Cowboys, also assigned to the Texas Air National Guard, were qualified as F-102 pilots?


Great catch: an observant Powerline reader had an extremely good point about the Texas Air National Guard memos presented by CBS - just take one look at them and you can see that they were not written on a 1972-vintage typewriter (of the sort those of us over 30 are old enough to remember):

Every single one of the memos to file regarding Bush's failure to attend a physical and meet other requirements is in a proportionally spaced font, probably Palatino or Times New Roman. In 1972 people used typewriters for this sort of thing (especially in the military), and typewriters used mono-spaced fonts.

The use of proportionally spaced fonts did not come into common use for office memos until the introduction high-end word processing systems from Xerox and Wang, and later of laser printers, word processing software, and personal computers. They were not widespread until the mid to late 90's.

Before then, you needed typesetting equipment, and that wasn't used for personal memos to file. Even the Wang and other systems that were dominant in the mid 80's used mono-spaced fonts. I doubt the TANG had typesetting or high-end 1st generation word processing systems.

I am saying these documents are forgeries, run through a copier for 15 generations to make them look old. This should be pursued aggressively.


I think Byron York's article sums things up nicely. Bush not only fulfilled his obligations, he more than fulfilled them:



I want to correct my previous post.
Doonesbury creator Gary Trudeau issued a $10,000 challenge to anyone who saw Bush in Alabama in this post
So Lt. Col. John "Bill" Calhoun and Master Sgt. James Copeland who both saw Bush in Alabama (Calhoun and Bush came to Copeland's office with a question about Bush's pay) should check the above link and fill out the "Witness Registration form".
Let's make 'em pay.

Random Numbers

Dean - Guard service was scored on a point per YOS(Year of Service) system. AFAIK, it still is.


As to forgeries, CBS had this:

60 Minutes consulted a handwriting analyst and document expert who believes the material is authentic.

It is possible that these were handwritten memos, retyped by 60 Minutes recently. (I haven't seen the photos, do they look "aged"?


Down the memory hole! A search of Google-News gives me this:

WBBM, IL - 14 hours ago
... "I cannot say he was not there," Mintz said. "Absolutely positively was not there. I cannot say that. I cannot say he didn't do his duty.".

However, the link leads to a story that does not include Mintz.

The search I used was:

mintz "i cannot say he was not there"

And I can't find a Google cache for their News searches. HELP!


Yes, they do. And they have a signature on them.

jim jones

An interesting description and commentary from Bush's former commanding officer.


Interesting when he talks about the media selective editing of his quotes.

jim jones

Powerline updates the forgery story with input from a clerk typist of that time period.


still a forgery is the analysis.


I'd wait before waxing all victorious on the notes to file. The points are fairly persuasive, but I'm not ready to call the game yet.

Still...notes to file, in an official military file, written in proportional font, and signed...that just looks odd. Why on earth would one sign an undelivered memo?


The memos are available on the CBS website. They are clearly forgeries, as is shown by the superscript numbers (you would have had to go to a financial printer to get that effect in 1972). I believe that CBS was referring to handwriting analysis of the signatures, but since CBS doesn't have the original memos, but only messy photocopies, it seems most likely that a geniune signature was cut and pasted into the forged document.

I csn't believe that I am wasting time thinking about this! Goodbye!


Apparently IBM introduced a proportional-width t/w well before 1970, the "Executive" model. Don't know whether the Times-like font the memos appear in was one of the options, though. And these were apparently very expensive beasts.


So "actually typed" not ruled out (yet).

Robin Roberts

I think that besides the many factual errors in Kristof's piece, the last sentence ( as published in my local paper ) is the most telling. In it, Kristof claims that rehashing this long dead issue is OK because the Bush campaign is attacking Kerry's military service. An overt lie.

While the Kerry campaign itself, and Kerry's own mouth ( which of course is expected to contradict itself any hour ), has indeed attacked President Bush's National Guard service - President Bush and his campaign have not.

As Glenn Reynolds quoted from an email, President Bush is not campaigning on his national guard service but has fully disclosed his records. John Kerry is campaigning on his four months in Vietnam and has not fully disclosed his records.

The lack of credibility of John Kerry, Kristof, DeLong, Kleiman and a long host of hacks is obvious.

Gaius Livius

The rank desperation among the Kerry camp's media cheerleaders is revealing.

Although hubris was the opening position (the 250+ Swift Vets must all be Republican liars working under direct orders from the Bush campaign), they proved unable to squelch the message or to kill the messenger.

Now, we're seeing attempts at vicarious "revenge" on Kerry's behalf:

- Tom Hays lying in his AP story about the crowd booing Clinton's misfortune at a Bush campaign rally, and "Bush did nothing to stop them."

- A three-day extravaganza on the "Today" over Kitty Kelley's sourceless hit-book.

- The Mintz ad, arguing that "absence of evidence is evidence of absence."

- Barnes either perjuring himself before, or lying now.

- Kristof's pitiful excuse for a story, referenced in this post.

- The "Killian memos," which stink of forgery (Hey, at least they're learning from the Lehman 3d Silver Star forgery - next time, forge a dead man's words!).

People confident of victory, or confident that their man can overcome a setback in the polls, don't resort to these sorts of things. Because of the probability they'll backfire, desperation and dishonesty are too risky if you're ahead; and if you can recover without them, too risky to try if you're behind.

But people who know in their hearts that their guy's a turkey headed for the oven will in their bitterness unsurprisingly adopt a scorched-earth strategy of, "throw everything at Bush that isn't nailed down, and anything that is nailed down that you can pry loose."

Stick a fork in the senator, he's done.



A really amusing thing would be to investigate the Alabama unit, discover the names and photos of all the other pilots and then grill the hell out of Mintz on those pilots.

If he can remember one guy, from 30 years ago, who didn't even FLY in his unit, the transfer was administrative after all, then he's got one hell of a memory. So let's trot that memory out and give it a good kick. Throw in a bunch of fake ones and see how well he does in picking them out.

Bet he falls on his ass.

Cecil Turner

I'm clueless about the typesetting issues, but some of the Killian memo paper trail is definitely fishy. The 1 Aug 72 memo, for example, is supposedly recording higher HQ's handling of the incident. But that's normally done with a cover letter endorsement to the official form (in this case an AF Form 1288), original sent to higher headquarters, and a copy kept. That way you have proof that HQ was apprised of the situation. This memo proves nothing by itself, and appears contrived. The 19 May memo talks about Killian discussing Bush's plans to get a physical that was supposedly ordered to be done (in the 4 May memo) by 14 May. The date and letter formats are non-military, and the fonts and signatures are non-standard.

All of which could mean bupkiss. Sloppy paperwork is the norm rather than the exception in military units, and the tone sounds about right (i.e., CYA memos--appropriately labelled--by someone irritated with HQ's demands for irregular treatment). I'd definitely like to see more on the provenance of those records. Hey, this might end up being interesting after all!



Mintz quote for TM

""I cannot say he was not there," Mintz said. "Absolutely positively was not there. I cannot say that. I cannot say he didn't do his duty." "

Hope that helps.


Lemme get this straight, Kleimann.

Bush is a liar because he said he flew for "several" years when it was really only... two?

Is that it?

That's all you've got? "Two ain't several, it's only a pair"?

Do you even look at this before you hit "post"?


I've contacted IBM about some of the specific features of their Executive series models sold up to and including 1973, namely whether an elevated "th" was an available special character, whether superscripting was possible on those machines (almost certainly manually, I think, it's how I used to have to footnote!), whether there was a "small fonts" Element for that machine, whether there was a Times-type font available, and whether any machines were sold to Air National Guard units. If I ever hear from them I'll let you know.

Will Vehrs

I'll tell you the part that smells fishy to me. Democratic partisans tell us Bush was a drunk, a womanizer, and a dope-sniffer, yet total recall Mintz was looking to party with him. Party-animal Bush can't be found to hang out with a guy looking to party? Hard to believe, if you swallow the partisan line.

I wonder if Mintz looked for Bush at Winton Blount's campaign headquarters.


It would be useful to to see if other docs from the files around the same date have the same fonts
Verrrry Interesting!



What's interesting is that Charles Johnson, at LittleGreenFootballs.com, replicated the 1973 memo perfectly using the default settings of Microsoft Word.

Then there's the added factoid that the USN/USMC used 8 x10 1/2 paper as their standard document paper. Not the civilian standard of today's 8 1/2 x 11 paper. So there should be some vertical lines on the copy of the memo.

I think the concensus is that this is going to be determined to be a fake. Hehehe.


When all else fails, the final bullet to the temple is:

ONE MORE ARGUMENT [09/09 07:11 PM]

As much as the Kerry Spot has tried to keep up with this, PowerLine has been on top of this story all day long. That site just presented what ought to be the straw that breaks the camel's back:

In the August 18, 1973 memo "discovered" by 60 Minutes, Jerry Killian purportedly writes:

Staudt has obviously pressured Hodges more about Bush. I'm having trouble running interference and doing my job.

But wait! Reader Amar Sarwal [this point later credited to reader Peter Nuss] points out that General Staudt, who thought very highly of Lt. Bush, retired in 1972.


Yeah, a general who's still on active duty doesn't need to "pressure" anyone — he can just give an order, and that's the end of it.

A general who's retired, though, can still have a lot of influence, exert "pressure", on active-duty officers.

It's politics, the old-boy network, just some phone calls to buddies and people who owe you favors, all the connections one made during active service and kept afterward — especially since military retirement doesn't imply civilian retirement.

Retired Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, for instance, continued serving his country on federal review boards and important non-governmental organizations until he died in 2000.   He couldn't have given his former subordinate officers any orders, but he surely could have "pressured" them if he'd wanted to.

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