I'd planned on sitting on this information until tomorrow to do more research, but developments are moving fast, so I think it's time to shine some light on one of the most likely suspects behind the CBS memo forgery.
Marty Heldt (or someone known to him)
Why? Three recent developments.
The previous article at Wizbang notes that USA Today independently obtained copies of the memo's that CBS had six weeks ago. Interestingly enough they had six memos (as opposed to CBS's four), and it's the first of those that is the first plank in identifying the forger. The first of the new memos is shown below:
Notice that this memo attempts to lay the groundwork for subsequent memos. In making the case for forgery it presents difficulties because the other name (Bath) is redacted in the version of Administrative Order 87 the White House released [View image].
A forger relying on the records released by the White House wouldn't know Bath's name making it unlikely that they would have been able to recreate this document. There is one man, an Iowa farmer named Marty Heldt bent advancing the theory that George W. Bush's was a deserter who was in possession of an unredacted version of Administrative Order 87 (All the way back in August 2000), as received in response to a FOIA request [View image]. Notice that James Bath's name is NOT redacted in the FOIA copy (paragraphs 6 and 7).
In January 2004, former Democratic political consultant Brooks Gregory identified Marty Heldt as peddling a bogus set of documents that Gregory had easily proved were forgeries. The original thread is here, but the relevant paragraph is shown below:
When all of this crap began back in 1999, I was a political consultant for several Democratic candidates, as well as later being a senior consultant for Janet Reno in her run for Governor. I bought the document package from Marty Heldt and we subjected them to the most thorough investigation one could imagine. Why? Because if there was anything there, we damn sure wanted to use it. But guess what? Only two of those documents proved to be authentic and they were not even related to the charge being levelled. Many of them are so blatant in their alterations it is almost funny. Several purport to be signed by real live military personnel, yet they don't even know the proper format for a military date.I'm attempting to get the same set of memos the Gregory claims to have received from Heldt, but circumstantially the trail of evidence leads directly to one person who fits the shadowy description of "unimpeachable." From the time-lines it is possible that Heldt was selling a set of documents before he had received his FOIA requested documents.
Another person who was in contact with Marty about the authenticity of his documents in 2000 has this to say about the CBS documents:
The memos are forgeries. The story is bogus. The memo were done on a modern word processor or computer, and not on 1970's era typewriter.
I have the same evidence I used to discredit Marty Heldt in 2000. It is almost comical some of the obvious alterations and these documents came from the exact same place.
Just one little item. The address PO Box 34567, is a bit dubious, and that's what tipped me off back then. I talked to Marty Heldt about that. His answer was that this was Killians home address. So, I decided to check. This address was, at the time shown on the document, unassigned. Further, the address was a po box at the main post office in Houston, Texas. The zip code was for a small town in Texas, Genoa, Texas that did NOT have po boxes.
From, there, I went on to prove the document titled "Chronological" had been altered, and done by someone that had no idea what a military date format looked like.
That took me about 3 days after which, Marty stopped communicating with me. I think I know who dummied up all of these documents but I can't prove it. But I just have this feeling that if the culprit is ever found out, he will come from a small town outside of Boston, Mass. And I'm not talking about John Kerry either.
It's a circumstantial case at this point, but Heldt (or someone known to him) is looking pretty good. There's more information on the way on this story, but new tips and leads are always welcome.
Update: The PO box argument, as presented in the quoted text, is not conclusive. It's been shot down here, and here. It's only presented in the context of this article to give an accurate account of the comments found.
Update 2: Heldt is certainly not the only suspect. Bill Burkett, a former Texas Air National Guard member and the person who claims to have witnessed shredding of Bush's Guard records is also high on the list. Tim Blair, Ace of Spades, and JustOneMinute all have more on the Burkett angle.
Interestingly Heldt and Burkett, were they to have worked together, would have had the insider knowledge; background in the minutia of the official documents; and the technical skills necessary to have made a pretty convincing set of memos.