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Burkett was USA Today Source

There are so many juicy tidbits in this story I'm not sure I'll be able to excerpt it properly.

...The network said Bill Burkett, a former lieutenant colonel in the Texas Army Guard, was its source for the memos that were the basis of a 60 Minutes broadcast Sept. 8. Burkett provided the documents to USA TODAY later that night.

AND BTW- Kevin nailed it....

In earlier conversations with USA TODAY, Burkett had identified the source of the documents as George Conn, a former Texas National Guard colleague who works for the U.S. Army in Europe. Burkett now says he made up the story about Conn's involvement to divert attention from himself and the woman he now says provided him with the documents. He told USA TODAY that he also lied to CBS.

So who was the source???

Burkett now maintains that the source of the papers was Lucy Ramirez, who he says phoned him from Houston in March to offer the documents. USA TODAY has been unable to locate Ramirez.

I'll save you the google. She don't exist. At least not in any capacity related to Bush or the guard. There are 4 women by that name in the Houston phonebook but I think randomly calling them is out of line.

Reporters who knew of Burkett's role as a Bush critic continued to call as they searched for files that could fill in details on a gap in Bush's service record. Bush was a well-regarded pilot but stopped flying fighter jets in 1972 and moved to Alabama, where he worked on a political campaign and apparently missed required Guard drills.

Ultimately, Burkett decided to turn over the documents to one of the most persistent journalists, CBS producer Mary Mapes, sometime in August.

Well that appears to answer our #1 question.

Burkett's emotions varied widely in the interviews. One session ended when Burkett suffered a violent seizure and collapsed in his chair.

heh, unimpeachable - heh.

Sitting in a rocking chair in his weathered ranch house south of Baird, Texas, Burkett recounted his continuing efforts beginning before he was discharged from the Texas Army National Guard in 1998 to clean up what he saw as Guard corruption and mismanagement. He said that activity led to a telephone call in March from Ramirez and her offer to provide documents damaging to President Bush.

Burkett said Ramirez told him she had seen him the previous month in an appearance on the MSNBC program Hardball, discussing the controversy over whether Bush fulfilled all his obligations for service in the Texas Air Guard during the early 1970s. "There is something I have that I want to make sure gets out," he quoted her as saying.

He said Ramirez claimed to possess Killian's "correspondence file," which would prove Burkett's allegations that Bush had problems as a Guard fighter pilot. ...

There is more of this part worth reading

At one point Thursday, as he spoke on a cell phone to his San Antonio lawyer, David Van Os, Burkett's voice froze in midsentence and his body convulsed in a violent seizure. He was helped to the floor and then to a couch. He has had such bouts sporadically over the past several months, but this one was worse, his wife said.

heh, unimpeachable - heh.

OH and look USA Today managed to find Conn -- I wonder how hard CBS looked!

Conn, the Texas Guard friend Burkett initially identified as the source of the documents, denied any connection in an e-mail exchange with USA TODAY. He wrote: "Know absolutely nothing about the Killian memos." Conn declined to be interviewed further.

And finally...

Burkett voiced frustration that his effort to call attention to what he believes are legitimate questions about Bush's military service is now being obscured by a new story line: "that I am some kind of nut."

"The only reason I'm going on the record is because I've got to tell the story to save my name."

Too Late


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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Burkett was USA Today Source:

» The American Mind linked with USAT Does Some Actual Reporting

» Democracy Project linked with Kicking and Screaming

» Overtaken by Events linked with The Gutenberg Moment

» TacJammer linked with Miers Memos

Comments (9)

This is interesting. The st... (Below threshold)
Remy Logan:

This is interesting. The story will lend credence to the theory that the forged documents were transcriptions of handwritten notes Killian had written. "Lucy Ramirez" will be able to claim that she was afraid of retribution from the "powerful" Bush family and so used an alias.

Terry McAuliffe must have gotten a wet spot in his shorts when he thought this one up.

On the other hand, a correspondence file implies that the documents are typewritten. Hmmm. If she actually has access Killian's file there are some interesting questions:

1) did she work in Killian's office?
2) why did she take the file and hold onto it for 2 decades?
3) how many state, federal, and military laws has she broken?
4) why did she feel that the risk of performing illegal activity was worth the possible consequences?
5) is the woman Rather interviewed last week (I forget her name) really Ramirez? We know she hates Bush enough to do something like this.

The plot thickens.

And, you know what? Who cares? This whole affair keeps Kerry marginilized and a sideshow. At the time he needs to be re-re-re-introducing himself to America, the MSM is going to be doing what it can to slime Bush, and will be ignoring the goofy one.

I do wonder if someone at the DNC, or even Rather himself, saw some type of documents they considered to be incriminating, and figured they could protect the source by faking the memos. I do find it hard to believe that even Dan Rather is stupid or whacked out enough to claim what he did and put his reputation at risk for photocopies that he knew he couldn't be verified.

I think it's possible someone is hiding something that they think will sink Bush. I also think that whatever it is they have, while a Bush killer in their minds, will amount to a bunch of nothing.

Congrats, bloggers. You di... (Below threshold)
foghorn:

Congrats, bloggers. You did bring about the downfall of See-BS and that idiot Rather. Enjoy. Celebrate. You deserve it.

But . . . The most horrible thing about the MSM is their self-worship since Watergate. They never shut up about it. In fact, now those idiots name every single scandal something-gate. To paraphrase Jim Carrey - you can tell how big a loser someone is by how far back in time they have to go to be a hero - "You remember when I was a sperm? I outswam all those other sperm!! "

Don't go down that road, bloggers. In spite of how sweet this victory is - you need to let it pass and move on.

You are better than the MSM. Sure, it will be appropriate to keep an eye on the See-BS link to the Kerry campaign. But more importantly, keep your eye on the ball or this story will be your Watergate.

Please bloggers, John Kerry is such an asshole that it is truly important not to get bogged down with the long-overdue fall of Dickless Dan.

This story still has legs. ... (Below threshold)

This story still has legs. Now we need to uncover: "what did Dan Rather know and when did he know it?" Did he know that his producer was calling the Kerry campaign's Joe Lockhart? And what about using Ben Barnes -- his comrade in Texas politics -- as a major source

And the mainstream media will have to be prodded to dig further.

Looks like the MSM dam has ... (Below threshold)
Mrs. Davis:

Looks like the MSM dam has broken. Now some reporter will be trying to become this generation's Woodruf and Bernstein by nailing Kerry. Let's hope lots are.

So from what I just read yo... (Below threshold)
Spaz:

So from what I just read you think that someone who has seizures is a liar? That is an interesting leap.

Spaz: I don't think you sho... (Below threshold)

Spaz: I don't think you should try to decide for yourself if Burkett is lying- you seem to have trouble absorbing more than 1 detail at a time.

I'm with Spaz on his commen... (Below threshold)
Tim:

I'm with Spaz on his comments. A guy who has a seizure isn't neccesarily a liar. It is a little funny to think of an anti-Bush nutjob getting all worked up and having a fit, (like John Belushi back when SNL was funny).

However, a man who's debilitated shouldn't be mocked because of is disability. I doubt that's what anyone meant.

Tim McNabb
fivehundredwords.com

Lucy Ramirez = second gunma... (Below threshold)
OneDrummer:

Lucy Ramirez = second gunman on the knoll?

they're both in Texas, right?

I'm on the phone with my sleazebag lawyer, he tells me to fake a seizure, don't say anything until we can re-group later in the day......

Credible? Unimpeachable? You betcha! All hat, no cattle.

Speaking of "All hat, no ca... (Below threshold)
JRE:

Speaking of "All hat, no cattle", what kid of cattle does George raise on his "ranch". If you ain't raising livestock and your're just growing plants, that ain't a ranch, it's a farm.




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