September 11, 2004


• CBS "fact-checker" Retired Maj. General Hodges -- someone from 60 Minutes read the memos to him over the phone -- is now convinced the documents are fake:

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 the documents or the contents. His personal belief is that the documents have been "computer generated" and are a "fraud".

• Terry McAuliffe, crowing the other day about "new military documents", "serious charges", and "documents from the personal files of Col. Jerry Killian", now directs reporters to the genuine source:

"I can unequivocally say that no one involved here at the Democratic National Committee had anything at all to do with any of those documents. If I were an aspiring young journalist, I think I would ask Karl Rove that question."

It’s always Karl Rove’s fault, isn’t it, McAuliffe? Yes, Superintendent Chalmers. Yes, it is.

• Blame the vast right-wing conspiracy! So hint NPR and Media Matters, whose bewilderment over an incorrect time stamp leads to their standard conclusion.

• Could an IBM Selectric Composer produce a document identical to the disputed 60 Minutes memos? Here’s an impressive investigation.

• Via the Dallas Morning News:

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, his own service record shows.

An order obtained by the Dallas Morning News shows that Col. Walter (Buck) Staudt was honorably discharged on March 1, 1972. CBS News reported this week that a memo in which Staudt was described as interfering with officers' negative evaluations of Bush's service was dated Aug. 18, 1973.

• You can practically see the scars in this Roy Eccleston piece following surgery to remove previous references to the 60 Minutes claims.

• RatherBiased is, as you’d expect, all over this.

• More memos keep turning up. Wriggle out of this one, Bu$hitler!

• Paul Grabowitz, professor of new media at the University of California at Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism:

"Blogs have been characterized as places where people just go to mouth off, but what this brings out is the ability of blogs to actually help report a story."

As ilibcc notes: "How would we know anything without academics?"

• Dan Rather politely requests that you ignore the evidence and instead look at the sinister entities behind these malicious ... er ... truths:

CBS News anchor Dan Rather on Friday vigorously defended his "60 Minutes" story on President Bush's National Guard service, saying the 30-year-old memos he disclosed on the show this week "were and remain authentic" despite questions raised by some handwriting and document experts.

"Until someone shows me definitive proof that they are not, I don't see any reason to carry on a conversation with the professional rumor mill," Rather said. "My colleagues and I at '60 Minutes' made great efforts to authenticate these documents and to corroborate the story as best we could. ... I think the public is smart enough to see from whom some of this criticism is coming and draw judgments about what the motivations are."


Posted by Tim Blair at September 11, 2004 04:21 PM

First baby! That is effing hysterical about Hodges. I might actually feel sorry for Rather.

Posted by: Sean of Lemoore at September 11, 2004 at 04:33 PM

I'd save my pity for the people who got shafted by Rather's assistants. Apparently Killian's widow and son were interviewed for their show, expressed their view that he had not written the documents - and were completely cut out. Not one minute of airtime for them; no perhaps or peradventure. Now it turns out that Hodges may have been grossly misquoted - did it ever occur to anyone at CBS that maybe twisting his words like this, to the point where he appeared to be confirming that Killian, his friend, had engaged in an extremely unethical act, could possibly be damaging to him? I'm not getting bent out of shape about Killian's posthumous reputation - I never knew him and will leave that area to the proper people, that is, his relatives - but making someone who is still among the living an inadvertant slanderer of his deceased friend is just pure slime.

The thing is, I doubt they ever thought of it that way - Hodges was a useful cog, used, then discarded. The hell with what this might mean for his reputation, or his friends's, for that matter! The hell with any distress these twistings might cause Killian's family - there's a story to be got out!

Rather's refutation (read it online) was a joke - knock down two strawmen and ignore the other 99 possibly-valid criticisms. But it would have to be - Rather and 60 Minutes apparently have decided that their airtime is best used for nonstop anti-Bush commercials instead of reporting. They just got a bit bold this time, and got called on it.

Posted by: Sonetka at September 11, 2004 at 04:56 PM

Hey, Leftists of the World!

You - 0
Retarded Drunken Fratboy - 1,090

Play on!

Posted by: Quentin George at September 11, 2004 at 05:11 PM

I dunno. The documents look pretty genuine to me.

Posted by: Ern Malley at September 11, 2004 at 05:34 PM

It should be added that CBS has no original documents, just photocopies.

Posted by: gnu at September 11, 2004 at 05:40 PM

One of the local news programs here in the Seattle area had an FBI documents expert examine the Killian memos. Here was his verdict:

"I don't think anyone in the forensics community who had examined this document would have verified it as an authentic document. There are just too many problems with it."

Posted by: Randal Robinson at September 11, 2004 at 05:46 PM

Watch FOXNEWS for fair and Balanced Journalism on the Subject of the Memo’s to see how CBS committed fraud and conspiracy. Not only was the Memo’s a fraud, but also the families they involved have claimed on TV the memos are lies. It is inexcusable, and downright biased, poor journalism and manipulative. Hope CBS is raked across the coals for it. How can anyone trust CBS now?

Posted by: Lewis Pratt at September 11, 2004 at 06:20 PM

Heh. Rather needs definitive proof that evidence is fraudulent before he decides not to screw someone over. I always thought it was meant to be the other way around. 60 Minutes is beginning to sound like a hive of tabloid journalism.

Posted by: drscroogemcduck at September 11, 2004 at 06:25 PM

Stick to poetry, Ern.

Posted by: Max Harris at September 11, 2004 at 06:32 PM

Eccleston is a sorry excuse for a foreign correspondent. It has been many months now since his reports amounted to anything much more than a regurgitation of last week's Democratic party talking points. Why even bother to be there? His columns would be no different if he never set foot in the US.

Posted by: SteveGW at September 11, 2004 at 06:43 PM

"I think the public is smart enough to see from whom some of this criticism is coming and draw judgments about what the motivations are."


Um, Dan - it is coming from members of "the public."

Posted by: Sonetka at September 11, 2004 at 06:55 PM

Bush has no brain, Karl Rove is the brain behind this right wing conspiracy. So there is only one brain in the GOP, and it's Rove's. From what we can see, there is not even one brain in the Democratic Party, otherwise, how could they fall for such an obvious fake? Can we trust them with running the country? Brain score: GOP 1, Dem 0.

Posted by: ic at September 11, 2004 at 07:36 PM

Max Harris:
Very erudite (and very funny) comment!

Posted by: Pedro the Ignorant at September 11, 2004 at 07:52 PM

It's interesting how the right wing disinformation machine is trying to suppress information about the IBM Selectric typewriter.

Posted by: rishka at September 11, 2004 at 08:30 PM

This Rather fellow... you want i should fix him?

Posted by: Drago Milovechek at September 11, 2004 at 08:40 PM

"It's interesting how the right wing disinformation machine is trying to suppress information about the IBM Selectric typewriter."

Let me get this straight: Because someone pulled the minor point about the superscript (that no one is seriously arguing as a key point, despite Rather's bullshit), you're saying, what, exactly?


Posted by: Aaron at September 11, 2004 at 08:47 PM

What worries me now is that the timing is damned inconvenient for these documents. The MSM, despite their inclination not to, would normally be forced to provide some kind of coverage to the anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Now, they can focus on the documents and the conclusions reached by the blogosphere. It almost seems that Rather is taking the fall for the rest of the liberal media.

I'm really interested in seeing how today plays out on the news now.

Posted by: david at September 11, 2004 at 10:45 PM

Pedro, credit due to Ern. Bastard!

Posted by: Max Harris at September 11, 2004 at 10:56 PM

Dan Rather's suicidal insistence on defending the forgeries is significant. Why didn't he take the easy way out?

He could just have said "Sorry, we were fooled about the papers -- but the rest of the story is still true". However, in that case, he would be obliged to reveal who gave him the fakes.

I think the answer lies in the source of the forged documents. It's something that has not been revealed, and evidently Rather thinks that protecting the source is more important than his career -- due to end soon anyway -- and the reputation of his network. What could be that important?

I think the only thing that could be worth such a price is the Presidency. If these forgeries were linked to the Kerry campaign, it would soell the end of a candidacy that is already faltering. Proof of such dishonesty would guarantee a Bush landslide.

My theory is that the documents were produced by a DNC staffer -- probably a young one who doesn't remember a world before there were computers on every desk. That they were passed to CBS in the knowledge that an extremely partisan journalist would use them to torpedo George Bush. That in his eagerness to destroy a President he hates, Rather failed to subject the fakes to any serious scrutiny.

The result is the situation we have today. But damaging as it is, Rathergate could go even further if, as seems likely, Kerry's party is in some way involved with the debacle.

Posted by: EvilPundit at September 11, 2004 at 11:17 PM

Memo from CBS to Tim Blair:

Put on your pajamas and leave the reporting to real jounalists like us.

Posted by: perfectsense at September 11, 2004 at 11:32 PM

Actually you know Rove didn't do it because it involves sliming a deceased military officer as part of a ruse. But which side would think nothing of doing that?

Posted by: Ron Hardin at September 11, 2004 at 11:42 PM

We, the public, are also smart enough to see from whom the defense is coming and draw judgements about what the motivations are.

This is the typical left-wing "it only works my way" thinking that makes them such fish in a barrel: anyone criticizing a Republican is assumed to be completely credible, but anyone questioning that criticism must be discounted, because, well duh!

Right-wing blogging: the easiest job in town!

Posted by: OH Boy at September 11, 2004 at 11:58 PM

``Could an IBM Selectric Composer produce a document identical to the disputed 60 Minutes memos? Here’s an impressive investigation.''

Tim, I go to this site ``Shape of Days'' and the header comes up but the screen is absolutely blank; there's some kind of connecting problem. Can anyone tell me what ``Shape of Days'' has to say?

Posted by: Annalucia at September 12, 2004 at 12:04 AM

Watched the CBS news last night and Dan Rather blamed this row on the blogosphere and people with a political agenda. There was no apology, merely postering at the VRWC. What an arse, CBS needs to get rid of Rather soonest.

Posted by: Andrew Ian Dodge at September 12, 2004 at 12:15 AM

This is hilarious. The San Francisco Chronicle is hitting the issue of the availability of proportional fonts and/or maybe a "th" key in the early 70s and trying to claim the documents aren't forged. Hilarious because the internet is already several steps ahead of them, with actual reproductions from Selectrics and such-like (reproductions which don't match), issues about extremely improbable millimeter precise centering, impossible P.O. Boxes, irregular signatures, etc. They don't call it the dinosaur media for nothin'.

Posted by: Robin Goodfellow at September 12, 2004 at 12:53 AM

This whole debacle bears a striking similarity to the "fake letters" affair in the 1996 Australian Federal Election - when the then-Labor Treasurer, Ralph Willis, breathlessly held a press conference to release "leaked correspondence" supposedly between Victorian Liberal Premier Jeff Kennett and Federal Liberal Shadow Treasurer Peter Costello detailing the Federal Opposition's "secret plan" for huge cuts to state grants.

In that case, the letters were released so close to the election that Labor may have thought there was no opportunity for their authenticity to be disproved - unfortunately for them, this was done quite easily as the ALP apparatchik genius who put the fake corro together used a Vic Govt letterhead that was out of date.

In the Rather case, the documents - supposedly a 'personal file' - would not be easy to disprove because who else would have a record of what a dead man may or may not have written in a personal file? Unless, of course, you were an idiot who used MS Word to create your 30 year old document.

In Australia the Left, for all their efforts to claim the moral high ground, leave the Right for dead when it comes to electoral corruption.

Looks like the same may apply in the US of A.

Posted by: yarraside at September 12, 2004 at 01:03 AM

Annalucia: try again, the site may just have been clogged up. (Also, try clearing your browser cache -- sometimes that helps me load sites that would not load before.)

Posted by: Andrea Harris at September 12, 2004 at 01:14 AM

I already assumed that former Texas Lt. Gov./Major John Kerry supporter/corrupt Sharpstown Savings and Loan conspiritor Ben Barnes was part of the connection that led Dan to these documents, but the speculation (via Instapundit) by Jerry Fuhrman at the From On High blog that Rather's daughter Robin may have been part of the document connection seems to make even more sense, based on Dan's fierce defense of the memos in the face of mounting evidence that they're frauds.

Robin's an Austin activist who helped run a city council race a couple of years ago, and got dad to show up to speak a Democratic Party fundraiser, which was a controversy of its own. So she's networked into the Democratic Party higher-ups in the Texas state capitol who would have their own interests in seeing Bush defeated. Barnes or some other party members could have gotten their message to Dan though Robin about these new "revelations" which would mean that if Dan were to admit that these were fakes, he'd not only be burning his own reputation, he'd be taking his own daughter down with him and would have to admit to himself that Robin (either knowingly or unkowingly) passed false information to him.

Not even Rather's original Republican Party sparring partner, Richard Nixon, managed to torpedo his own family members when he was caught in all those lies 30 years ago that set up his career path towards the CBS News anchor chair. So having a family member do defend instead of just CBS underlings and/or Democratic opposition research workers would make Dan's apparent desire to go down with the ship more understandable.

Posted by: John at September 12, 2004 at 01:44 AM

Very well, Max:

The documents
Look pretty genuine
To me
And my mate
Helen Demidenko

Posted by: Ern Malley at September 12, 2004 at 01:45 AM

1. Dem pollster Pat Caddell has warned that if the memos are forgeries, the Dems will lose the election big-time & says that he can’t believe that the Dem pols have gotten themselves so involved in this. Caddell wouldn’t be so worried if he had strong reason to think the memos real & he’s not exactly an outsider.

2. Keep an eye on Ben Barnes—Rather’s old pal, the disgraced ex-Lt. Gov. of Texas, he of the Sharpstown stock scandal, he who was fired from his sometimes $3Mn-a-year job in the GTECH Texas lottery scandal, long-time Dem fundraiser, major fundraiser (almost 400K in 2003) for Kerry, listed at the Kerry Campaign’s Website as a Vice Chair of the Campaign, Ben Barnes whom Rather interviewed in order to slime Bush without telling or reminding us of all these wonderful things about Ben Barnes.

3. The longer that Rather keeps the story out there, the longer the charges against Bush keep getting repeated over & over, simply in order to explain in each news story what the fuss is all about. Other outlets also still have an excuse to promote the charges against Bush by using 60 Minutes as a legitimate source. All involved on every side think that, if the election is close, every little bit helps, or hurts. Rather is due to retire soon anyway. His boss Don Hewitt never let him do this story, but Rather has done it now that Don Hewitt has retired.

3. The American Spectator’s “Washington Prowler” said that major media outlets are sitting on highly damaging completed investigations into financial irregularities in the Kerry Campaign & into Kerry’s 1970s activities with the North Vietmamese delegation in Paris.

4. Recent extensive quotations at The American Thinker from FBI files about Kerry at meetings of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, in tandem with articles appearing elsewhere in the MSM, were starting slowly to give this story some traction until it was swamped by Rathergate.

5. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign has also lost some of the spotlight. However they have raised $6.7Mn at this point. They will not stop for anything. The Dems need a way to keep changing the subject.

6. Stolen Valor is soon to be released as a documentary. The Dems need a way to keep changing the subject.

Posted by: ForNow at September 12, 2004 at 01:53 AM

Dan Rather's 60 Minutes story is falling apart faster than an old shed caught in a Texas tornado.

Now Ben Barnes' own daughter is saying that he's lying about having helped get Bush into the National Guard. She says he's doing it for political reasons and to help promote interest in a book he's writing.

Looks like the only part of that entire 60 Minutes piece that is holding up is when Dan Rather says "I'm Dan Rather" and some bloggers are probably fact checking that for accuracy.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at September 12, 2004 at 01:58 AM

[Sitting back watching the train wreck]

Col. Killian's son was on Hannity yesterday. He said he and his mother were contacted by CBS more than a week ahead of the show, told CBS they thought the memos were fake and absolutely they did not come from Killian's files. Neither was mentioned on the broadcast.

About Rove possibly being behind it, it was said best here (Shannon Love's comment, if the window doesn't go directly to it).

Posted by: Ken Summers at September 12, 2004 at 02:50 AM

Mark Steyn at the Chicago Sun-Times has an absolute classic read on this.Its one of his best(and thats saying something).

Posted by: Larado at September 12, 2004 at 03:09 AM

Go to the CBS website and make use of their feedback form. Don't be nasty, just point out that as they lose viewers over stupid moves like Dan Rather's, they lose ad revenue. THAT is the bottom line. Yes, CBS management already knows this, but sometimes management needs a reminder.

Posted by: zzx375 at September 12, 2004 at 03:38 AM

I think the lesson for CBS News is clear: Never release information to people with all five senses.

"Dan Rather's suicidal insistence on defending the forgeries is significant. Why didn't he take the easy way out?"

Your theory is interesting, but until further notice I'm going to assume it's a combination of Rather's ego and his obvious insanity.

Posted by: Jim Treacher at September 12, 2004 at 03:41 AM


The Steyn piece is not in their online edition. Do you have a link?

Posted by: Spiny Norman at September 12, 2004 at 03:49 AM

I love the part of Dan's defense that says you can't make some of these assertions based on multi-generational copies. Ummm, if this is from Killian's personal file, why should there be more than, at most, one copy?

Posted by: Dave S. at September 12, 2004 at 03:52 AM


Just checking in to see how things are going in Blair-land. Good coverage of Jakarta, thats important domesticly. Well done Tim B.

About this whole Vietnam Swift-Boat/IBM font thing. It may have some intrinsic merit but for anyone who is not a committed partisan or media junky this debate is going...nowhere.

Maybe you folks might be interested in taking a look at where Iraq is going which, acccording to this CSIS report (pdf), is apparently hell-in-a-hand-basket. I predicted Iraq's impending meltdown this time last year, but this is definitely worse than I expected.

This election is the decision making process for finding the leader of worlds most important country. And Iraq is the most critical security issue that the US has faced for a generation.

It would be nice to hear the candidates make some practical suggestion about how we can exit this mess before guys like Sadr turn Iraq into Lord of the Flies. Any ideas to contribute to, or query on, the potential leaders of the worlds only serious security gurantor in a region of immense vital interest at a critical time in this conflict?

Just curious.

Posted by: Jack Strocchi at September 12, 2004 at 03:53 AM

Aaron writes:

Let me get this straight: Because someone pulled the minor point about the superscript (that no one is seriously arguing as a key point, despite Rather's bullshit), you're saying, what, exactly?

Am I behind? The superscript is a key point. The ability to make super- and subscripts is not confined to modern word processors. Every crummy typewriter I ever used could do that. The point is that the superscript is in a smaller font. In an IBM Selectric, this would've involved replacing the ball with a smaller-font ball, just for the subscript, and then switching the original ball back in. And that's aside from the issue of spacing the superscript horizontally.

You know, I can't read something like (from rishka's link):

The Selectric II had a lever (above the right platen knob) that would allow the platen to be turned freely but return to the same vertical line...

without crying out Oh my God I want one! despite the fact that I have no earthly need for a typewriter. Man, many's the time I screwed up by rotating the platen freely and then was unable to find the correct line again.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at September 12, 2004 at 03:57 AM


Talk about wishful thinking!

Posted by: Angus Jung at September 12, 2004 at 04:04 AM

Having to remove one ball from the typewriter to insert another ball so as to insert a special character, then stop and remove that ball and re-insert the other one to continue typing...going past the right-hand margin and off the paper...making a mistake and either backspacing and taking out the mistake with that white strip or using wite-out and spattering the wite-out and having to wait until it was completely dry before typing in the correct character...using carbon paper to make copies under the original, and having the mistakes show up on the carbon...typing onto mimeograph paper and making mistakes on that...having to use onionskin and thus being doomed, because wite-out showed up too much and an eraser messed up the paper...

I love the PC SOOOOOOOOOOO much...

Posted by: ushie at September 12, 2004 at 04:37 AM

Please address your comments to

Posted by: torchy at September 12, 2004 at 04:43 AM

What Ushie said. I mean, Doc Brown was able to replicate the function of a microchip with a whole board full of tubes and wires, but it took him weeks and he was highly motivated to try to get Marty home. Why would somebody in '72 go to all that trouble just to type up a memo?

Posted by: Jim Treacher at September 12, 2004 at 05:09 AM

I can almost tell the age of people by their comments regarding superscripts and centering letterheads.

Here's a question for people having trouble understanding the fuss about centering and superscripting: Ever hear of pre-printed letterheads, AKA "stationery"?

People spent money on stationery because taking the time and trouble to laboriously center letterheads was not worth result. It was cheaper and faster to use pre-printed letterheads.

In my experience (going back to 1979), if a military unit couldn't afford a custom letterhead (it happened), they got around this by producing a local version (using a mimeograph machine and later, a Xerox-type copier). Or they used standard block format, or a "disposition form", a pre-printed form intended for exactly this purpose.

You see, if one had to manually bang out memos and such on a typewritter, you used all the possible shortcuts, because it was a royal pain in the ass even with an IBM Selectric. And those were usually limited to official secretaries; lesser beings used older machines.

This specifically includes superscripting. If one had to produce a document with footnotes, it was simpler and faster just to increase the line spacing to 1.5 or 2.0, roll the paper up half a line, type the superscript, and return to the original line. I know, I had to do a lot of these in college (back then, computers used IBM cards and Hollerith code, or very expensive terminals).

Computers now allow us to print high quality letterheads, and not to think about superscripting, with only a few keystrokes. The machine does that work, and leaves us free to think about bigger problems (not that everyone takes advantage of this loss of burden). Trust me -- this was a MAJOR advance for communications.

The one machine available then (below typesetting machines available to newspaper printers) apparently can reproduce much of the memo (as per the "Shape Of Days" report). But such equipment would not have been available to a TANG light colonel, and I doubt he would have used such for routine memos (been there, done that, folks). And even that is not a 100% replication.

Clearly, someone whipped these memos up on a computer. Whether they thought about the technology prevalent in that decade or not goes into conspiracy theories (or speculation into the educational background of wannabe forgers).

The obvious conclusion is that these are forgeries. My major concern is not Rather, but CBS. If they stand by this, and the other MSM don't focuse on this, then the MSM is indeed untrustworthy. Not that this is news to most people, but it is good to say.

As for the Swifties....I see this as a distraction by the MSM in their favor. The MSM can't pound on them (as much) while focusing on this latest Bush (non-)"scandal".

Posted by: The Real JeffS at September 12, 2004 at 05:32 AM

Why do I get the feeling that the forger is, at this very moment, typing up the "original" memo on an old Olivetti that he spent all day yesterday looking for at flea markets and thrift shops? Look for it on "60 Minutes" Sunday night.

Posted by: Dave S. at September 12, 2004 at 06:19 AM

Dave S., I hope he/she picked up a couple bottles of white out at the same time. They're going to need them....or a lot of practice with a manual typewritter.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at September 12, 2004 at 06:33 AM


The problem with the selectric I, II, III as culprits is that I believe they were not proportionally spaced machines so the superscript function is irrelevant as the documents were preportionally spaced.

The only machine any of the experts cited have said _might_ even have a remote possibility of being able to produce that document was the IBM Selectric Composer.

The problem is, as shown in one of the links above, it doesn't look like the Composer would produce these documents as they appear due to problems with letter width, line width, exact centering, and possible kerning issues. There's also the issue of an, at the time, state-of-the-art machine which would cost about $16,000 in today's dollars winding up in the backwoods of the TexANG in the hands of a Lt Col whom his wife said, didn't type. That there's been no other documents found from verifiable sources that match the typography, it's at the very least awfully suspicious.

That's not even going into the problems with the _content_ of the letters themselves (such as the periods after the 'Lt' in Lt Col), or the seeming lack of a match to Killian's verified signatures.

Fox News has reported today that they've talked to sources at the Pentagon who believe the documents to be fake.

Posted by: Mr Vee at September 12, 2004 at 08:18 AM

Using letterheads in those days was not just a good idea, it was in fact required. Official TANG letterhead paper had a DoD seal on the left hand side. And even if an address was to be typed, the standards dictated it should be left-justified, not centered (to within a millimeter!). It's really amazing to what extents the late Killian would go top violate every military standard in writing this memo, and take extra pains to prepare it with such immaculateness on a $4,400 typesetting machine just to say "CYA".

And this is all discounting the fact that Killian's own son and widow both say that the man hated typing and wasn't a good typist. Really, how stupid does the MSM think we are?

Posted by: xcomp at September 12, 2004 at 08:20 AM

The Dr. Philip D. Bouffard who is quoted in the Boston Globe as lending support to the authenticity of the memos says at INDC Journal that the Boston Globe has gotten his remarks wrong &, from the quotes there, he is angry about it.

Quote: “What the Boston Globe did now sort of [expletive] me off, because now I have people calling me and e-mailing me, and calling me names, saying that I changed my mind. I did not change my mind at all!”

Bouffard thinks that it is FAR more likely (though NOT conclusive) that the memos are a FORGERY. Dr. Bouffard is one of the foremost experts in his field.

* * *

At the Kerry Spot at NRO, they’ve got a 2002 quote from Rather’s handwriting expert Marcel Matley in which he says it is possible to disprove a signature when one has only photocopies but also that it is not possible to authenticate a signature when one has only photocopies.

Rather’s case keeps crumbling by the hour.

For my part, I’ve done my little tests, & ALL FOUR memos line up beautifully in Word 2000, in terms of character spacing & line breaks, TWO in the default settings, the others with MINOR variations. Times New Roman throughout. (Indentations for closing salutation etc. not obvious, but so what). I didn’t get them all correctly at first, but the problem was I was going too fast & not paying attention to irregularities in the originals.

The word “kerning” has introduced probably more confusion than it’s worth. Word’s sensitive proportional spacing combined with good font design of Times New Roman produce a quasi-kerning effect. In default settings, no pairing-sensitive automatic proportional spacing is evident. There seems a limited degree of pairing-sensitivity in text formatted with “Kerning for Fonts” (involving whether a capital like “W” is followed by a capital or a small.) “Kerning for Fonts” is OFF by default & in any case results in bringing the Word document versions out of alignment wtih the originals.

In all cases when testing for yourself, make SURE to be aware of original document’s double spaces, missing spaces, missing period (in an acronym) or comma missing a space afterward. Watch your own spelling too. Notice that in one case an ordinal suffix is not superscripted. Just type the numeral, type a space, then the ordinal suffix, then delete the space. This is not extraordinary or complex. In other cases a numeral is followed by a space & then an unsuperscripted ordinal suffix.

The May 4 1972 Memorandum for 1st Lt. George W. Bush (“You are ordered to report...”)—
Shrink fontsize to 11pt.

The May 19 1972 Memo to File—
Straightforward default settings.

The August 1, 1972 Memorandum for the Record—
Right margin expanded to at least -0.03” & at most –0.14” (on my computer, anyway).
Fontsize 11pt.

The August 18, 1973 Memo to File (“CYA”)—
Straightforward default settings.

Posted by: ForNow at September 12, 2004 at 08:21 AM

To address Angie's questions above:

There are two requirements involving the superscript; they're being conflated, and that's where you (and a lot of others on the web) are getting confused.

For the CBS documents to be authentic, there must have been a 1972 typewriter that could (1) produce superscripts, (2) of a smaller font size than the main body of text. Devices that couldn't do both don't count.

Any typewriter could produce superscripts by rolling the platen down slightly (so the type hammer would strike the paper higher than the base line). I'm probably going to make you feel stupid now by pointing out that just about every manual and electric typewriter had a lever that disabled the detent that determined the line spacing. With the lever disengaged, you could turn the platen freely. To get back to the line, you just flipped the lever back on and then wiggled the platten until the detent engaged again. Some later models (like the c.a. 1966-vintage Olympia portable I still own) had detents that made two clicks per line instead of one, so you didn't have to disengage it, you just rolled the platen down one click, typed the superscript, then rolled the platen back up one click.
A lot of typewriters also had a way to adjust the platen without changing the detent position, to line the type up with blanks on preprinted forms and the like. (Royals, IIRC, had a button on the end of the platen knob that did this.) If you used that for typing superscripts, you had to have a pretty good eye to get the type back in line, and that sounds to me like what you were complaining about. ;-)

ANYWAY... the problem with superscripts produced by moving the platen is that the type would be the same size as the type in the body text. There are two ways to achieve the smaller type size: Either a special superscript "th" key, or a changable type element.
I recall using a German (think it was) electric in the late 1980s that used a daisy-wheel type element which offered a "th". (I thought it was pretty cool at the time.) But two days worth of discussion on the web have not produced evidence that any such thing was available in 1973, although there's been talk of "custom keys," (which were probably doable but would have cost a mint).
That leaves changable type elements. In the 70s, the only choice was the IBM Selectric. Selectrics had been around since the 1950s, and there were a choice of "golf ball" type elements with different type faces (including Greek, Russian, and mathematical characters, for which you had to have a conversion chart). One of these may have offered a superscript "th"; I don't recall and so far I haven't seen any proof one way or the other.

That covers the superscript issue. But there's more: Proportional spacing (eliminates the Selectrics, which had, at best, a choice of fixed spacings, usually only 10 or 12 characters per inch ("pica" and "elite"), and also eleminates the IBM Executive, which had a "proportional spacing" that was actually a choice of (IIRC) four fixed spacings. These would change within a line, selected automatically depending on the width of the character you typed.) And there's the typeface problem: Did any 1973 typewriter offer a face that is (almost) identical to Times New Roman as it exists in MS Word?

etc, etc... Was there any such beast that you'd be likely to find in an ANG office in 1973 that would do all of the above? Personally, I don't think these guys will be giving away that reward money any time soon.

Posted by: Old Grouch at September 12, 2004 at 10:47 AM

To address Angie's questions above:

There are two requirements involving the superscript; they're being conflated, and that's where you (and a lot of others on the web) are getting confused.

I'm not confused. I knew that the issue was the font of the superscript, not that it was superscripted. It did seem to me others were confused, though.

I'm probably going to make you feel stupid...

Uh, no. No you're not.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at September 12, 2004 at 12:28 PM

Rather is stonewalling just to protect his source. Now I wonder who that could be?

Posted by: Mike Force at September 12, 2004 at 06:06 PM

Rather is stonewalling just to protect his source. Now I wonder who that could be?

Posted by: Mike Force at September 12, 2004 at 06:06 PM

Rather is stonewalling just to protect his source. Now I wonder who that could be?

Posted by: Mike Force at September 12, 2004 at 06:07 PM

I hate Austin. Austin suck, just like Dan Rather and his whole liberal family. Anyone remember the time her turned his back to then VP George H.W. Bush during an on camera interview in early spring 1988?

Posted by: Joe at September 14, 2004 at 08:41 AM

Anyone remember the time her turned his back to then VP George H.W. Bush during an on camera interview in early spring 1988?

Posted by: Joe at September 14, 2004 at 08:41 AM

Anybody who has been in the military should be aware of the meaning of NLT ( Not Later Than) and IAW (In Accordance With). On the Medical exan doc, just wondering why NLT is spelled out and IAW is not?

Posted by: George b at September 15, 2004 at 11:15 AM

Dan...You CAN find the whole truth... Click Here.

Posted by: Scott at September 15, 2004 at 10:35 PM

I am 53 years old and have served in the Army in Viet Nam for 2 tours. I believe after putting my life on the line in many occasions in Viet Nam that I have the right to voice my opinion about Mr. Dan Rather. It was very appaling to see that he lowered himself so far as to become part of a smear campaign against Bush with those forged documents. Even if he didn't originaly type them himself he pushed the envelope too far by wanting to find something on President Bush so bad that he believed them and spoke about them to millions of people on the evening news. News people I have been led to believe were supposed to be non biased but after watching that report on the forged documents it is obvious beyond a doubt that Dan Rather would do anything he could to unseat President Bush. This is appalling and makes me sick to my stomach and I will never watch CBS news the rest of my life if Dan Rather is still there. You owe it to the country and to your viewing audience to put him out to pasture with his obscene version of politic smear backing tactics.

Posted by: Gary Harding at September 16, 2004 at 02:04 AM

Geez!!!!!! It's time to stop the childish bantering. DOESN'T ANYONE CONCENTRATE ON THE ISSUES?ie.,the economy, unemployment, uninsured 43 million people,environmental logging & park giveaways, Haliburton giveaways in Iraq.Medicare increases, tax refunds for the wealthy, etc.,etc.

Posted by: Ethel Aschenbrenner at September 16, 2004 at 11:27 AM