What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Monday, September 20, 2004

CBS News: Documents Cannot Be Verified

As expected, CBS News is now saying the four memorandums it obtained that were supposedly from George W. Bush's former National Guard squadron commander, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian are fakes. Well, they're not using the word "fake," instead saying they no longer could vouch for the document's authenticity.

The documents were featured in a Sixty Minutes II Segment on Sept. 8 about how George W. Bush got into the Texas Air National Guard. The memorandums conveniently seemed to back claims made by Bush opponents that Bush had skipped out on some of his Guard obligations.

CBS News initially stood behind its claims of the authenticity of the memorandums -- stubbornly, I might add -- and Dan Rather, in one newscast, said the documents came from "un-impeachable sources."

On Sept. 15, CBS News released a lengthy statement, still standing behind its claims of the authenticity of the documents.

Many Democrats insisted the documents were genuine, and bloggers took crash courses in vintage typewriters to offer up evidence that the memorandums were not forgeries.

As you have read here, I initially believed the documents to be fake. Democrats seemed almost desperate in their hopes that the documents were genuine. Even if they were, I doubt it would have changed the outcome of the presidential election. Bush supporters do not appear to be bothered by questions surrounding Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard. Right now the only group that could potentially be affected by this controversy are the swing voters.

There you have it: CBS News was tricked into believing the Killian memorandums were genuine. Apparently CBS received the documents via fax. Why CBS insisted on using faxed documents as a source, and not the originals, is a mystery. Someone with genuine Killian documents could very easily create forgeries using his signature.

Another question to be answered is, was anyone affiliated with the national Democratic party responsible for the forgeries? If so, it's going to be a real setback for the Kerry campaign. People will believe the Kerry people were somehow responsible for the documents, even if no one actually is. That's the nature of the political beast.

Finally, here's the Top 10 Conservative Idiots list from DU. Enjoy.


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