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Where did CBS get the documents?

Maybe someone can disabuse me. I've spent 30-40 minutes on CBS's website, the Boston Globe's website and google and I can't find the answer to my question.

Where did CBS get the documents? The CBS site is quite vague.

"What's never surfaced before are these four government documents from the personal files of the late Col Jerry Killian, Bush's squadron commander." (Dan Rather voice over from video report)

The Pentagon released "newly found files" on the president's National Guard service. Dan Rather reports they may clear up lingering questions... (text on a link, never found in actual news story)

But previously unseen documents from Killian's personal file obtained by 60 Minutes include a memorandum...(another news story, text)

With the exception of that 1 link, every mention in their reportage does not give the pedigree of these papers. CBS calls them "personal records" but Killian's son told the AP that CBS did not get them from the family.

Boston.com just says "obtained by CBS."

Did the Pentagon give CBS an exclusive? Considering these papers would be in the public domain that seems odd. And if so, why not mention they came from the Pentagon? (other than in a link which could be wrong considering the volume of reportage devoid of this fact)

Even the Whitehouse got their copies from CBS and not a governmental agency. That just strikes me as odd.

If someone can answer this question I'd appreciate it.

I'm beginning to think Dan Rather got a new copy of Microsoft Word and wanted to see how it worked. (only joking of course-- maybe)

I'll delete this if someone can give me a link quick- Thanks

Update: I didn't just missed it in the chatter. The Washington Post wants to know too.

After their initial airing on the "CBS Evening News" and "60 Minutes II" programs Wednesday night, the documents were picked up by other news organizations, including The Post. A front-page story in The Post yesterday noted that CBS declined to provide details about the source of the documents, the authenticity of which could not be independently confirmed.

On Wednesday evening, the White House e-mailed reporters copies of the documents, as supplied by CBS...

This is getting to be the $64,000 question.

UPDATE 2: They refused the NY Times as well: "CBS News declined to say how it obtained the memos. "


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Where did CBS get the documents?:

» murdoc online linked with Can this possibly be true?

» rightpundit.com linked with CBS Will Not Disclose Source of Forged Memo

» TheGantelope linked with Colonel Mustard, in the Library, with an iMac

Comments (19)

Given that Killians family ... (Below threshold)

Given that Killians family has categorically denied having handed over any documents to CBS and that the records are supposedly from Killians private records, one really does have to wonder how CBS could acquire the documents. Who else would have access to Killians private records? If I had to bet, I would say that the documents probably came from some of those so-called "Texans For Truth"

This article: <a h... (Below threshold)

This article:


claims that the memos were given to the DNC, then to the Kerry Campaign, then CBS.

(The Spectator is a reasonably reliable source, though not always)

the almost complete lack of... (Below threshold)

the almost complete lack of recognition that today's revelations have received from the left is really pathetic. I mean, I guess I shouldnt be surprised but I sort of am. These people simply have no couth nor honor. democrats.org comment posters totally ignore remarks regarding the newfound fakeness of these docs, democrat bloggers for the most part have clutched these fake docs like The One Ring and are chewing the eyes out of anyone so bold as to point out what startlingly sophomoric fakes they are. Is anyone else as apparently naive as I must be about how far these people are willing to go with this crap?

Is it really worth sacrificing their pride, for christ's sake? Have they no shame at all? The NYT article mentioned by another commenter is perhaps the most repugnant of them all, and it was just posted within the past 2 hours. Has this Krugman moonbat been asleep all day or do I just expect everyone else to read the same stuff that I do?

I know I went to one of the... (Below threshold)

I know I went to one of the smaller liberal blogs and the guy accused me of name calling and tried to cling to desperate hope that these documents were somehow legit.

After reviewing the pounds of evidence he said "The Jury is still out" or some such. Astounding what some people will do to keep their delusions alive.

I understand Ben Barnes has... (Below threshold)

I understand Ben Barnes has a book coming out. Does anyone know who his publisher is? I'm wondering if this is another Richard Clarke/Viacom type package deal. If the publisher is Simon & Shuster, that clinches it.

I think its time for CBS to... (Below threshold)

I think its time for CBS to go the way of Arthur Andersen after the Enron scandel. Anyone concur?

Paul,CBS got the d... (Below threshold)


CBS got the documents form their photocopy room, by way of a typesetter.

You know. The really incompetent typesetter who was fired yesterday?? :-)

I suspect that someone at t... (Below threshold)

I suspect that someone at the DNC's been reviving the old hacker project of media spoofing, at CNN's expense. Only they did a *much* clumsier job of it than most old time media hackers would have put into a hoax story seed.

*shrug* It's as likely as any other theory right now.

I think Ben Barnes' daughte... (Below threshold)

I think Ben Barnes' daughter-- during her interview with Monica Crowley -- said he's in the process of writing his book. Paul, did you see the story on ABC News' website about Killian's widow, his son, and an independent document examiner saying the documents are forgeries?


In order for CBS and Dan Ra... (Below threshold)

In order for CBS and Dan Rather to save face, they are going to have to turn over these so called "reports" that claim these documents are authentic. They also have to explain where they got these memos.

I'm wondering what person in their right mind is going to sacrifice their reputation by admitting they "authenticated" these obvious forgeries. And if somebody does come forward, I think it would be very important to see if this person gets a sudden increase in their bank account, or moves to the south of France.

Also, if CBS can't explain where they got their documents, this is not going to be pretty. Do they really expect us to believe that they received them in a brown envelope from some anonymous person? Would anybody run a story accusing the President of being AWOL on flimsy evidence like that? Oh, I forgot, we're talking about the MSM.

Anyway, this is going to be an interesting September.


The Washington Post talked ... (Below threshold)

The Washington Post talked to a see b.s. exec who claims they got them from an aquaintance of Killian:

A senior CBS official, who asked not to be named because CBS managers did not want to go beyond their official statement, named one of the network's sources as retired Maj. Gen. Bobby W. Hodges, the immediate superior of the documents' alleged author, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian. He said a CBS reporter read the documents to Hodges over the phone and Hodges replied that "these are the things that Killian had expressed to me at the time."

"These documents represent what Killian not only was putting in memoranda, but was telling other people," the CBS News official said. "Journalistically, we've gone several extra miles."

The official said the network regarded Hodges's comments as "the trump card" on the question of authenticity, as he is a Republican who acknowledged that he did not want to hurt Bush. Hodges, who declined to grant an on-camera interview to CBS, did not respond to messages left on his home answering machine in Texas.


I would sort of like to hea... (Below threshold)

I would sort of like to hear a little more about the so called "super script" that was noted on the memo's. The ability to raise the "th" on a typewriter during the 70's was not possible lending authenticators to believe that they are forgeries.
I heard a bit of that last night but not this morning unless i just missed it getting ready for work.
This is just another attempt at getting a bulls eye on the forhead of GWB again taking the focus off of JK for his little speach after he returned from Namand it will backfire just as everything else JK/JE have tried.

ok...feeling a little stupi... (Below threshold)

ok...feeling a little stupid here...sorry...
I should have scrolled down thru articles this morning before posing my questions...
too much coffee and way too much defensive posture I guess. I'm getting so tired of trying to debate issues with Dem friends that i am on a 24/7 mission.

Debra, I don't think this i... (Below threshold)

Debra, I don't think this is going to take the heat off of Kerry and his post-Vietnam actions. The SBVT will make sure of that.

However, this story is definitely an indictment of the MSM and it's complicity in trying to take down the President.

Not only will John Kerry be the big loser, but so will the MSM. I think the blogosphere has made its mark and will forever change the way we look at news.


This morning Sen. Tom Harki... (Below threshold)

This morning Sen. Tom Harkin continued his attacks on Bush during an interview on Fox News Channel. He's not backing off from the CBS News/60 Minutes story. Harkin claims that Bush is unfit to command because he is a liar. Funny thing is that Harkin once got into hot-water when he was outed as a liar about his own military service during Vietnam. The Dems have no shame whatsoever. As Karl Marx once said, "Accuse others of what you do." I guess the Dems are big on that strategy.

JK/JE are in trouble no dou... (Below threshold)

JK/JE are in trouble no doubt. I loved GWB's comment about "you do the math" Why not stick with that for a while?
It's shameful to see a coward falsify information to discredit his opponent in order to take the focus off of himself.
Oh wait...dare I call JK a coward? I don't know....Maybe I should retract that statement. No wait..maybe not...yeah well maybe I should.
Oh what the hell! Let me ask a JK and see if he thinks I should stick with one or go for another since he seems to be the master at waffling

This question is nagging at... (Below threshold)

This question is nagging at me, and I'm sure is completely irrelevant to the point, but since I'm a grammar cop I have to bring it up.

I've seen reports that these documents were from Killian's personal files and other reports that say they were from Killian's personnel files. The words "personal" and "personnel" are not interchangeable. Which do they mean?

Rather Knew of Forgery?... (Below threshold)

Rather Knew of Forgery?

Presuming that Rather is bright enought to understand the nature of the central question concerning the authenticity of the documents--that they could not be produced on the technology of the time-- his use of a handwriting expert to authenticate the memos is a clear admission that his purpose is not to determine the truth but to defend a predetermined position.

Of course, if one presumes that the documents could be a forgery created with a wordprocessor, and given that CBS has admitted it only has copies of the documents to work from, a handwriting expert is as useless. One presumes that the signature is "genuine" if the document was computer created because it is a simple matter to digitally scan a signature and place it on the document.

Rather has chosen to defend an irrelevant point and bring no expertise to bear on the central question regarding the document's authenticity.

This curious approach by Rather mandates consideration of a previously unthinkable possiblity-- the Rather knew the documents were forgeries, and has no choice but to defend the authenticity of the documents-- however absurd this defense becomes-- because of the consequences if the forgery is acknowledged.

This hypothesis fits many of the observed facts of the situation-- the curious decision by Rather to defend rather than examine the authenticity of the documents, the willingess by Rather to expose himself to ridicule by defending the indefensible in the face of overwhelming evidence, the failure by Rather to name sources, and the unwillingness by Rather to even find a document expert-- as opposed to a handwriting expert-- to evaluate the memos on CBS's behalf.

Rather is acting like a defense attorney-- and not a particularly skillful one-- defending an obviously guilty client by bringing an archery expert to court to discuss ballistics because any reputable ballistics expert will conclude that the bullet matched his client's gun. Could it possibly be that Rather's client is himself?

I have another similar ques... (Below threshold)

I have another similar question I would love to ask Mr Rather. WHY protect the source of the documents? Given the fact that the documents are fake, then CBS and, for the most part, all of the world, was attempted to be duped by some faction. THAT, my friends, is a new story. And not something CBS should be covering up! Hey CBS.. do some investigative reporting please. Or is the source of such deception something CBS has decided America should not know.






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