« AP has Documents -Calls them bogus- quietly | Main | Bad Bad News »

On The Trail Of The Forger

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.

Development #1

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).

Development #2

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.

Development #3

Who do Salon and David Brock's Media Matters trot out as their rebuttal witness against the forgery charges? None other than "independent researcher" Marty Heldt.


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.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference On The Trail Of The Forger:

» Allah Is In The House linked with http://www.allahpundit.com/archives/000946.html

» Banana Oil! linked with Long live the Pajama Brigade!

» The American Mind linked with Another Suspect

» FrankLog linked with The Forger?

» The Pink Flamingo Bar Grill linked with TICK TOCK TICK TOCK As the world turns and MSM Bur

» Slant Point linked with Wizbang Holmes

» DiscountBlogger linked with IF YOU CAN PROVE THEY'RE REAL

» Cabal of Doom linked with Forging Along

» Notes & Musings linked with How Not To Smear A President: Lesson One

» Jeff Blogworthy.com linked with Could the forger be... Marty Heldt?

» The LLama Butchers linked with Holy Baying Bloodhouds, Batman!

» Dean's World linked with WHOAH! WHOAH! WHOAH!

» mypetjawa v. 2.0 (beta) linked with Monday Morning Blogs: The Breakfast of Champions

» Classical Values linked with Stuck in an imaginary past?

» Ipse Dixit linked with Strangely Enough...

» Knight Of The Mind linked with So Why Would Anyone Suspect CBS

» A Small Victory linked with Flame-Proof Pajamas -or- Why MemoGate Matters

» murdoc online linked with Not in our pajamas, we can't

» In Search of Utopia linked with Rathergate... My Thoughts

» Attaboy linked with Documents, Please

» Evilwhiteguy's Blog linked with CBS Forgery Roundup

» Evilwhiteguy's Blog linked with CBS Forgery Roundup

» Les Jones Blog linked with C BS. C BS Run. Run, C BS, Run (Part 3)

» Random Jottings linked with Dead ringer...

» Ereblog linked with Bad time to be a forger

» Ace of Spades HQ linked with On the Trail of the Forger

» Daly Thoughts and Dales' Electoral College Breakdown 2004 linked with Gonna Party Like It's 1999

» The Politicker linked with Tracking The Forger

» Dean's World linked with Apologies

» Classical Values linked with I love the smell of cocaine in the morning!


» BIRD linked with "KERRY LIED..."

» Alpaca Burger Forum linked with Forgeries, pt. 5: Getting closer to a culprit?

Comments (63)

yo kevin, actually... (Below threshold)

yo kevin,

actually, the po box 34567 *is* legit. See Powerline - there is a genuine transfer request from Bush addressed to that place (I've seen links to it, if you look around you can find it). And it seems the zip code has changed and is also valid. I saw a post on this somewhere but I've been to so many sites that I don't remember.

I think it's pretty clear these docs are fake, but the (surprising) 34567 is actually legit.

here is the <a href="http:/... (Below threshold)

here is the link i was thinking of that shows 34567 is legit.

Original memos from Bush requesting transfer are addressed to that PO Box: 1, 2.

I think you have nailed it.... (Below threshold)

I think you have nailed it....typed in Marty's name and got a pile but this was among it all...

This looks like a possible "true" or reasonably accurate account of Bushes TANG service timeline including details of who he was campaigning for...not sure if its distorted.... hitting it for the night so I can get the kiddo up for school....


Sempre fie Kevin .... Ohhhhrahhhh

The PO BOX is suspect for a... (Below threshold)

The PO BOX is suspect for a great many reasons. First, the number is sequential. Assuming that this is supposed to be a post office nearby the actual ELLINGTON AFB in Houston, it would be a an Offbase Post Office with 34,567 boxes. Not bloody likely. An 'On Base' post office would follow a completely different addressing and distribution protocol.

Second, documents of official nature ( like orders to report for example ) would be sent to official locations for distrbution and filing, and you would receive a copy, one that you had to formally acknowledge reciept of. One would not to mail any correspondence to your superiors home, except may christmas cards.

GWB was in the National Guard which some people denigrate as a less-than-able force, but the National Guard is just like the Air Force, not the Civil Air Patrol. An ANG squadron is not run out of someones garage. It would help if people understood that ANG Squadrons regularly out compete regular Air Force squadrons in efficiency ( William Tell exercises for example). Thirdly, the document that is supposedly correct shows GWB refer to himself as "First Lieutenant", not 1LT or 1/Lt. The forger has also left the signature as a child- like "george", not "George W. Bush"/Rank/Squadron/Group/Wing, as would be regulation to sign full name and rank on all official documents.

You might be able to pry in... (Below threshold)

You might be able to pry information out of Fox. Fox's PDFs seem to have been made in February - which means they may have had them independently also. They didn't run with the story... so they may not care to protect their "source".

From here:

Has anyone else checked out... (Below threshold)

Has anyone else checked out the other documents on Marty Heldt's site.


Does anyone have any .pdf's from a freedom of info request not associated with him.

Being an IOWA man perhaps t... (Below threshold)

Being an IOWA man perhaps that is why Harkin was the point man on this. The Doc's went from Mary (under the radar to Tom to John to Terry) to Dan.

HOLY SHIT! If thi... (Below threshold)
Steel Turman:


If this is right .... the first Pulitzer
Prize will be shared between you and 'Buckman'

I sure hope Heldt does not wind up under the
same tree as Foster.

Go man.

Neal Gabler on Fox Newswatc... (Below threshold)

Neal Gabler on Fox Newswatch last Saturday said that the Salon article with the Hedt guy is proof positive that Bush is a liar. Of course, Gabler is of the opinion that the mainstream media is conservative not liberal. The man -- like his party -- is a pathological liar. Media Research Center already exposed him as such on another statement he's made in the past.

Fox News reports says that ... (Below threshold)

Fox News reports says that the Kerry campaign and their 527 partners will be coming out with ads with the message Bush misled America about his military record. Do you hear the media outraged about it? Do you hear them question whether they've gone too far? That's what they did when the Swift Boat ads came out.

From a small town outside B... (Below threshold)

From a small town outside Boston Mass.?
Who? Who? Don't keep us in suspense like this!!!

I'm not sure if it means an... (Below threshold)

I'm not sure if it means anything, but I suspect Brooks Gregory and "Freedom Fighter", the pseudonym of the author of second quote (the one that mentions the 34567 PO Box) are the same person. Looking at Google's record of each's recent Usenet posts, they're made using exactly the same version of Microsoft Outlook via the same access provider (Easynews). Their formatting and writing styles are similar, both seem to be very prolific posters, and while "Freedom Fighter's" posting history only extends back to early August, he doesn't post like someone who's new to Usenet. So, the claims that Heldt is/was selling forged documents may be coming from a single source, credibility unknown.

That said, reading some of the posts Gregory has written over the last two years doesn't leave me with the impression that he has a habit of making wild claims - he's talkative, certainly, but coherent. Still, it'd probably be a good idea to get some corroboration that he is who he claims to be (particularly re: the consulting work for Democratic canadidates) and can back up the statements about proving Heldt has forged documents in the past.

Another observation: the FO... (Below threshold)

Another observation: the FOIA requests that Heldt has on his site (http://users.cis.net/coldfeet/FOIApg1.gif and http://users.cis.net/coldfeet/FOIApg2.gif) and were presumably written be him appear to use Times New Roman, 12-point font (I retyped a couple of paragraphs on my own using that font and compared them.) That being the MS Word default, it's not damning, by any means, but certainly interesting...

Quite obviously, the Swift ... (Below threshold)

Quite obviously, the Swift Vets' testimony and life stories hit hard to John Kerry and hit hard to the Left Media meshing with the DNC because their attempts to "silence" the testimony by ignoring it proved to their own denigration. As with the CBS forgeries, but that's, to state the obvious, still underway.

My intuitions about this are that the DNC is relying on the public exhaustion factor to set in about all of it such that they'll just turn off any more "news" or interest. Which is where the Left makes it's fatal mistake over and over and over again.

Because, even based upon what I just read in SALON (I really dislike reading that source, but I had to follow the outrageous headline, "Swift">http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/09/10/forgery/index_np.html">"Swift Boat flacks attack CBS"), the DNC (in which I include the unabashed distortions by affection by this SALON writer, if not the publishers, also) is underway with it's "media" assumption that they are victim (the Left is, which points to Kerry, and includes his Media helpers and circle o' funders and fundees) and that the big ole' George Bush and RNC are "attacking" innocent little ole' CBS and Kerry.

I'd bet money on the fact that this is the "Brown Book" thing in play by the DNC: slip and fall.

They're falling. They slipped.

As long as the Left can keep their focus on their victim personna (they're "under attack," the RNC are "flacks," the RNC are "extremists attacking the honor of John Kerry/CBS/Carville/et al.), they can also continue to avoid actually discussing their own behavior...which is what they're doing, quite obviously, with the Fontgate/BathRatherGate.

Challenge here is to continue to apply public scrutiny to the Left itself and deny them their glory from down on the floor where they're waitin' on Edwards to PRESSSS CHARGES for the FLUID on the FLAAAAHHHHEEEERRR.

Great work, Kevin. I'd sure like to know what that small town in PA is called; me and many millions of other readers.

Sorry, underscores were acc... (Below threshold)

Sorry, underscores were accidental...not intended...

BUT, have you ever, and I d... (Below threshold)

BUT, have you ever, and I do mean, EVER, seen or heard or read about anyone committing such an audacious series of wrongs and displaying such obvious absence of remorse about it, as in this case by the DNC using the media and Kerry using them all?

Actually, yes, I have, as in, many people responsible for very grave crimes, unable to the very end to admit culpability, responsibility, remorse for their own behavior.

I'm thinking this morning that John Kerry is criminal extraordinnaire. I mean that, with all sincerity. Either that, or he's out of the loop and just doing his Felony Dance because he wants the title. Both options are truly terrible.

Why is Carville still on CN... (Below threshold)

Why is Carville still on CNN (I'm assuming the network is paying him something for his time there) while now an advisor or otherwise participant in the Kerry campaign?

That's just one question here, for starters, as to media involvement in the Kerry proposition to America, but, also, just reading Media Matters (link you provided here), I'm finding it interesting that the only discussion there about the media is of the negative kind about "RNC points" and those they accuse of being involved in same (one way or another)...labelling anyone who questions these forgeries and related as "gossip" sources and the like.

Shows the huge importance of bloggers, certainly, yes, but I'm wondering this morning about how the information -- the truth about the forgeries, who is responsible, the spider web of Left media and the DNC -- how this is going to get circulated throughout the non-cyber population. And, what, exactly, is the reward for the Left to behave this way? Where are they going with this?

Those last few statements are rhetorical in nature. Just to be clear.

Frank (and others who think... (Below threshold)
The Monster:

Frank (and others who think PO Box 34567 is suspicious): If you notice the rest of the address, you'll see that the last two digits of the ZIP Code are '34'. This is fairly standard practice in cities. There might not even be 567 boxes in that office - if the TexANG requested that box number, the Postmaster might well have assigned it.

There are plenty of other things that make these documents obvious forgeries. Don't give the DUmmies another charge they can easily refute and declare 'nothing to see here folks, just wingnut theories'.

Okay, I've posted this else... (Below threshold)

Okay, I've posted this elsewhere but I'm going to say it here too: WE NEED TO BE VERY CAREFUL HERE GUYS

We are going much further into speculation and may be creating rumors about a guy who is innocent than we did just looking at the memos and noting their flaws.

Seriously: we could be creating a new Richard Jewell. This guy may have nothing to do with it, and excessive public speculation on this could really fuck a guy's life up--and create some potential lawsuits for some bloggers.

Not to mention that some fuckhead might go and threaten this guy!

This may be the biggest danger to Open Source Journalism: public speculation about another person's motives and actions absent proof definitely counts as potentially careless and pernicious gossip, guys.

Don't get mad at me for saying so. Stop and think about it. This man is not a public figure, and he could be completely innocent of any wrongdoing.

What will be most telling i... (Below threshold)

What will be most telling is how FOX plays it today...So far they are still running with it...

Does the DNC still go with the "Fortunate Son" thing in the face of the mess they already have...

Will Londoners Back Batmans bid to Commondere Buckingham Palace... Is this a Tony Blair plot...

Well, wouldn't a forger try... (Below threshold)

Well, wouldn't a forger try to get an address from real documents?

The key point Wizbangs source made is that it, aside form drawing suspicion, the BOX WASN'T EVEN ASSIGNED
on the date of a (forged) memo in the packet of docs from this earlier time.

That's called a clue.

FOrgers like to make things look real if they can help it. But they make mistakes on not knowing it wasn't an assigned box on the date of a particular backpace-to-the-future memo.

Well, wouldn't a forger try... (Below threshold)

Well, wouldn't a forger try to get an address from real documents?

The key point Wizbangs source made is that it, aside form drawing suspicion, the BOX WASN'T EVEN ASSIGNED
on the date of a (forged) memo in the packet of docs from this earlier time.

That's called a clue.

Forgers like to make things look real if they can help it. They'll date an address from a real document. But what if the address wasn't in use at the time of a single backpace-to-the-future memo? It means there are time machines, or the memo is fake.

Let me add to Dean's cautio... (Below threshold)

Let me add to Dean's caution: If speculation turns out to be baseless and a private citizen's reputation is tarnished, the speculator could find himself on the wrong end of a libel suit.


I STILL do not understand h... (Below threshold)

I STILL do not understand how these PRIVATE docs would have been released to anybody under FOIA. They were never part of the official TANG record and even Rather stated they were in a PRIVATE file belonging to Killian.

Could someone file and get a copy of his grocery list he also kept in there? I don't think so and do not think they would be released under FOIA, either. Where have they been stored since Killian's death? At TANG? In the file cabinet? Under 'Bush" so they would be included? Not likely. So how did they become part of the official record in the first place? And WHEN?

So the forgeries were NOT released under FOIA. Where does Heldt claim to have gotten them? The Gregory comment was that they were in with the docs from FOIA. Were they stolen and would they not be the property of his family now? Private docs just do NOT come under FOIA so who inserted them into that mix? How does Heldt account for their inclusion, I wonder?

Who would copy Bush's official file then look in Killiam's private one?? Something does not add up in the claim of obtaining them under FOIA.

Would like to see a page count of what was given Heldt versus what he was selling as see if the number of pages increased by, say, about six.

Dean--With all due... (Below threshold)
Fresh Air:


With all due respect, this guy Heldt has made himself a very public figure on the Internet in opposition to George Bush. He was spotted on Kevin Drum's site last night sounding all confident about the authenticity of the memos.

He may not have created them, but he looks like a pretty good subject for speculation. Anyway, he won't become Richard Jewell because no one will pay attention to blogs until our charges are proven by other parties. We report, they decide.

Amelia--You are co... (Below threshold)
Fresh Air:


You are correct. (In fact, Heldt tried to get docs like the forgeries passed on to CBS, but failed. He posted the FOIA rejection on his site. I have viewed the letter, which says the last activity in Bush's file was his discharge in 1974.) The FOIA only pertains to certain rudimentary documents unless the veteran has signed Form 180, which Bush did in fact do.

Private documents left outside of a personnel file like a memo for CYA purposes would never be covered under FOIA, nor would anyone even know of their existence.

I think the FOIA stuff I have read represents a combination of stupidity, ignorance and incompetence on the part of the reporters. I learned about FOIA in J-school 17 years ago and even I know what's covered and what isn't.

What evidence do you have t... (Below threshold)
Jim Ausman:

What evidence do you have that Bush signed a Form 180?

The White House press corp says he did not:

'At the White House, press secretary Scott McClellan said he couldn't say specifically whether Mr. Bush signed Standard Form 180, but the president did request and release his own military records in February. "I don't believe he signed any form, but he did authorize making his military records available publicly," Mr. McClellan said. "We have released all the records, and reporters were allowed to look at his medical records as well."'

When is Bush going to release all his records?

What is he hiding? If Bush would release all his military records, we could put this controversy to bed quite quickly.

<a href="http://www.rightsi... (Below threshold)
Justin @ RSR:
Let's have Kerry sign SF-18... (Below threshold)

Let's have Kerry sign SF-180, too. What the F--- (as he would say) is HE hiding??!?!?

yeah, I agree with OHLAEJ..... (Below threshold)

yeah, I agree with OHLAEJ...and even moreso, I think that this general FRAUDGATE issue was a "response" (read, "retaliation") by Kerry/the DNC following an accurate hit to Kerry's character by the SwiftVets. So, they retort with this manufactured mumbo-jumbo and, presto, people focus on Bush's "credibility" RATHER than on Kerry's.

We need to focus greater concentration on what is in Kerry's "record" -- what he hasn't released...missing years, AWOL status from Reserves, which is proven. The "press" never even mentions that.

But, as to individuals, <a ... (Below threshold)

But, as to individuals, this thread poses some very, very interesting information...and, there aren't any individuals mentioned there or here, even, who haven't already very much asserted themselves into this public issue/discussion.

I haven't read here, anywhere, either, where anyone's promoting any sort of acts to or about anyone, just trying to read the story correctly.

What is most striking about... (Below threshold)

What is most striking about the forgery is how ineptly it was done. Unless this was a setup (which seems quite doubtful) that makes the whole episode all the more embarrassing for CBS. Sooner or later people are going to lose their jobs over this.

There are some VERY fine di... (Below threshold)

There are some VERY fine differences between the normal Times New Roman character set and the .pdfs on the CBS website. The "th" superscript, as the most obvious example, exactly matches what comes out of a printer, but not what appears on screen. This suggest we need to look not just at the MS Word/Times New Roman issue, but at the actual printer that was used. That's what might enable us to zero in on the two main suspects at the moment: Marty Heldt and Bob Burkett.

Does anybody know where to find online documents that Heldt printed? I'd like to have our font wizards take a look at them.

Couple of points--So if I a... (Below threshold)

Couple of points--So if I am right on FOIA not pertaining to private files, how did Heldt supposedly get them? When he offers them for sale, how does he claim ownership? How did someone's private files come to be in Bush's records according to the alleged storyline? Taken from the private files, etc. does not come under FOIA. The answer may be obvious but does Heldt have an explanation for the inclusion of personal notes? What was the page count FROM FOIA compared with page count he tried to sell?

Secondly, no Bush DID NOT sign a Form 180 but rather issued an Executive Order directing the release of any and all documents, certainly one step better, from all official sources. So why does the press not press for Kerry's?

And third, I believe his discharge is dated September, 1973. This should have eliminted the claims he was to have reported for duty in Mass. while at school as is now being claimed by the fact-challegned smear machine from the DNC/CBS consortium.

Did Carville Do it? It is/w... (Below threshold)

Did Carville Do it? It is/was his MO.

Has Carville tried this trick before?

Operation Fortunate Son's f... (Below threshold)

Operation Fortunate Son's first volley has been refuted: They claims Bush is a liar when he said he flew jets for the US Air Force. The record shows he indeed flew jets for the Air Force during his 100 days of active duty. He was assigned to an Air Force squadron. The DNC is doing exactly what Susan Estrogen -- I mean Estrich -- advised: Throw out a bunch of lies and smears and hope something sticks.

Well done Kevin. Or should ... (Below threshold)
Limp Bizniz:

Well done Kevin. Or should I say Columbo. I personally like Jessica Fletcher better, but to compare you to a nosy old bag is just plain wrong. Well done.

Help the Swift Vets

Why would those who are ult... (Below threshold)

Why would those who are ultra-familiar with the format of the authentic FOIA Bush documents, use MS Word to fake new ones? They're not that stupid, are they?

We need to follow the FAX records, I think. If they're stupid enough to fake using Word, they're stupid enough to have used a tracable fax number to send the doc's to news agencies.

Administrative Order 87 -- ... (Below threshold)

Administrative Order 87 -- both the redacted and unredacted version -- were featured in Fahrenheit 9/11, right? I don't know if Michael Moore got the doc from Heldt, or made his own FOIA request, but the info about Bath has been public since at least June 25.

Scott - Do not remember the... (Below threshold)

Scott - Do not remember the Site but difference between screen display and printed page has been explained. Don't remember technical details but screen display is driven by internal instructions which are not quite as detailed as the licensed version used to print.

I teach High School Graphic... (Below threshold)

I teach High School Graphic Arts and today we were talking about the study of fonts and how that might apply to every day life. One student brought up the story about the forged memos and the class had a pretty heated discussion over it.

In our discussion, the student sat down at the computer and using Word...copied from a PDF of the memos that we printed. In about 5 minutes...he came up with something that was nearly an exact match to the PDF documents. He then took it to the photocopier and copied it...copied the copy and then copied that copy. He may have made 4 or 5 generations...

The final photocopy was a dead ringer for the PDF files downloaded from the CBS website. When we cut the signature off of the PDF documents and trimmed the ones we created via the photocopier to size...even I could not tell the difference. Even when we put them on a light table on top of each other...the spacing, kerning, margins, centering were identical.

So...if a 17 yr old could make a forged copy that fooled someone that teaches this every day...what do you think a person with a little more training is capable of?

Speaking of Harkin... did y... (Below threshold)

Speaking of Harkin... did y'all read this in the Spectator?
REPORTERS ARE ALSO LOOKING at staff and associates of Sen. Tom Harkin, who enthusiastically held a press conference on Thursday morning using the forged documents as the tent pole for attacks against President Bush. Harkin called Bush a "liar."

"Harkin has been pushing this story for a while," says the CBS producer. "Not this specific story, but the 'Bush is a liar about his record' story. His people seemed particularly interested in making sure they could keep their boss up to date on what was going on."

That Harkin was the individual selected to be the attack dog on this particular issue was an interesting one, give that Harkin himself has a checkered history about telling the truth about his involvement in the Vietnam War.

We've been down this road b... (Below threshold)

We've been down this road before. Talion.com's 2000 November Surprise "Bush is AWOL and had the record cleansed" press package has been archived here. Both Bill Burkett and Marty Heldt are listed as people to contact.

Draw your own conclusions about whether there was a link between Burkett and Heldt then or now.

You guys seem to be forgett... (Below threshold)

You guys seem to be forgetting Shrub has not denied the authenticity of the documents. That's all I need to know.

Numerous other blogs have debunked your claims. Get a clue.

President Bush has no need ... (Below threshold)

President Bush has no need to respond to this memos. Why should he waste his time defending himself from obvious lies to such a liberal media. The smart thing to do is just sit back and watch CBS et al implode

Whover did it is going to b... (Below threshold)
Dan Theman:

Whover did it is going to be just like an arsonist. He will be right in the middle of the debate discussing and defending the memos.

Heldt fits that description pretty well.

Robert Strong is the source... (Below threshold)
Didn't Hear It From Me:

Robert Strong is the source. He was never in the National Guard. He is a delusional crackpot who fooled Dan Rather, and now Rather doesn't want to take his lumps for being completely bamboozled by a mental patient.

Don’t forget, Marty was inv... (Below threshold)

Don’t forget, Marty was involved with the AWOL project.


If you check out the documents at that site,


you’ll see a section labeled “OETR scam”.

There’s no such thing as an OETR. This was a mistake made by paul (the keeper off the site). The forger used the initialism OETR, instead of the correct OER. It seems likely this could be the place the forger picked up the wrong term.

One of the docs also has the blacked out, but readable 5000 Longmont address. Where would a forger pick up a wrong address? Not sure, but the doc labeled “Ready Reserve Service Agreement (12-1-69)” contains that address.

Obviously not proof, but interesting hints that the incompetent forger did some research at a site associated with Heldt.

I've thought it was Heldt f... (Below threshold)

I've thought it was Heldt for a while myself. I just posted a link to a New York Observer piece where Rather claims that he and his producer became aware of these documents back in 1999, which would fit the timeline here.

What Phil just pointed out ... (Below threshold)

What Phil just pointed out is what Allah posted (with a little of my help) on Tuesday. It's why Bill Burkett couldn't be the forger (but may have been a source for the forger). No Air Force or National Guard officer would have typed "OETR"!

See here:

First Allah OETR

and here:

Second Allah OETR

Also, check out my link in ... (Below threshold)

Also, check out my link in the trackback above (Daly Thoughts). I found an article where the reporters talked to Heldt and Burkett back to back, almost like both had made themselves available together, or one had said to call the other. Ace of Spades HQ calls it "One Degree of Separation"

DAN RATHER PROFILES THE FOR... (Below threshold)


Reference http://nyobserver.com/pages/frontpage1.asp September 15, 2004 2:36 pm (They seem to update the time every time I check there, so hopefully it will still contain this quote when you look.)

Here's an excerpt:

Mr. Rather said that it would require an exceptional amount of knowledge to craft a forgery—and not just the typographical kind. "You’d have to have an in-depth knowledge of Air Force manuals from 1971," he said. "You’d have to have Bush’s service record, you’d have to have the Air Force regulations from 1971, you’d have to know nearly all of the people involved directly at that time, including the squadron commander, who was Bush’s immediate superior, and his attitude at the time—you’d have to know all those things and weave all those things in."


Sounds like long time Bush attacker, COL. GERALD LECHLITER in his 36-page dissertation of August 2004 (possibly written earlier). It deals with the same subject matter as Michael Moore's 7-point checklist - internet posting of 2/11/04 and The Boston Globe 9/9/04 article is based on Lechliter's 36-pager (see redstate.org below).

In it, Lechliter shows his in-depth research of Air Force Manuals (if you search for "AFM" in that essay, it comes up 45 times) and he acknowledges assistance for his 36-pager from Martin Heldt, Lukasiak and two reporters at the Boston Globe, Latour and Walter Robinson (who wrote the 9/9/04 article).

....41, 42, 43, 44, 45 - I felt like the 60 Minutes clock counting down as I was counting the AFMs.

Lechliter's connection to the Globe: www.redstate.org/story/2004/9/10/135321/013. It also links to the 36-pager.
Lechliter's 36-page dissertation: www.glechliter.glcq.com/critical_analysis.htm
Michael Moore's 7-point checklist posted on 2/11/04: www.calpundit.com/archives/003240.html#102131
Info on Paul Lukasiak - at glcq.com, another Bush attacker, who claims to be in Philadelphia, but Fresh Air 9/14/04 at 12:40 pm found his ISP to be in Massachusetts. (Ace of Spades HQ site)
Info on Marty Heldt: see Spiny Norman's post at Ace of Spades HQ at September 12, 2004 06:33 PM - which quotes this post by "Brooks Gregory":

"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. -- Brooks Gregory 2004-01-28 08:27:57 PST" at Google Newsgroup: talk.politics.misc.
Posted by BR at September 15, 2004 07:37 PM

Bottom line: A "mastermind" writes the thesis, with the help of others and a flunky (whoever he is - Heldt, Burkett, or some other low IQ person) does the grunt work of writing the actual forgeries. Then CBS completes the circle by publishing it. I think it's all coming together from all the widespread info here and on other weblogs.

AND THAT MEANS RICO! (Federal and civil)

FORGED DOCS MATCH MICHAEL M... (Below threshold)


The thought came to me that if you want to understand a forger, you have to think like one.

So, what would you do? One would write a checklist. Then one would create or have some flunky create the matching documents.

On 11 Feb 04 Michael Moore posted a 7-point checklist with "questions" attacking Bush at http://www.calpundit.com/archives/003240.html#102131.

Here's a full match of his 7 points with the 6 documents on USA Today's site (which includes the 4 CBS docs) as well as the CBS 60 Minutes" show itself, with the Barnes interview:

MM's #1: "How were you able to jump ahead of 500 other applicants... to Texas Air National Guard... What calls did your father... make on your behalf...".

So the CBS show of 8 Sept 04 answers that by bringing on Barnes, who claims as Lt. Gov. he made those calls. Except it's now been proven, Barnes only became Lt. Gov. many months later.

MM's #2: "Why were you grounded..."

This is then answered in the forgery dated 1 Aug 72, ordering "suspension". Not shown on CBS's show, but on USA Today's site. Part of the same series of forgeries.

MM's #2 cont'd: "...after you either failed your physical or failed to take it in July 1972?"

This is answered in forgery dated 4 May 72 and followed up by forgery dated 1 Aug 72.

MM's #2 cont'd: "The records show that, after the Guard spent years and lots of money training you..."

This is answered in forgery dated 19 May 72 with the line "I advised him of our investment in him..." in paragraph 2.

MM's #2, 3, 4, 5 and 6: These are all accusations of being AWOL and not being in Alabama or Houston during a certain time frame in mid 72 to mid 73.

This is answered in forgeries dated 19 May 72, 1 Aug 72, 24 June 73 and 18 Aug 73.

MM's #7: "How did you get an honorable discharge? What strings were pulled? Who called who?"

This is answered in forgery dated 18 Aug 73 which mentions Staudt (who had already retired the previous year), Hodges, Harris, thus falsely implicating these military personnel, including Lt. Colonel Killian as the alleged author, in falsifying Bush's records.
Is there anything in the forged docs NOT discussed in Michael Moore's checklist? They seem tailor-made.

As a humorous postscript: Moore's next paragraph after the 7-point checklist says: ..."wanting to see a debate between the general and the deserter." Earlier on that chat site, it was mentioned that Moore was a Gen. Clarke supporter (who was in turn supported by the Clintons). The weirdest quirk is that just two posts above Michael Moore's appears one from someone calling himself "Terry Lenzner" !!! (Probably not the Clinton TL, but so strange how all these old Watergate ghosts are coming back.)

UPDATE on RICOOETR... (Below threshold)


OETR - it appears spelled out fully on page one of Lechliter's 36-pager:

" Bush’s Performance as Documented on AF Form  77, “Officer Effectiveness/Training Report” (F77)."

Someone with low IQ and unfamiliarity with AIR Guard (vs. ARMY Guard where Burkett was) might think it's "OETR" forgetting there's a slash in between.

So, bottom line: A "mastermind" writes the thesis, with the help of various anti-Bush researchers and journalists, then a flunky (Heldt, Burkett, whoever) does the grunt work to actually create the forgeries, then CBS completes the circle by publishing it.

THAT'S RICO ! (federal and civil - conspiracy to commit fraud).

Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1961-1968, passed by Congress in 1970, originally designed to get the mafia.

See http://www.ricoact.com:
"Today, RICO is almost never applied to the Mafia. Instead, it is applied to individuals, businesses, political protest groups, and terrorist organizations."

After Drudge reported that ... (Below threshold)

After Drudge reported that the WaPo has traced the memos to a Kinko's in Abilene, TX, I did some digging here.

Interestingly, there is a l... (Below threshold)
David Addams:

Interestingly, there is a link between Burkett and Heldt. Heldt in involved with a website OnlineJournal.com, and the site has a piece Burkett wrote in 2003.
check it out (if you can connect, it took me several times)

Correction to typo in the "... (Below threshold)

Correction to typo in the "Dan Rather Profiles the Forger" item earlier - the Boston Globe article referred to is dated 9/8/04, not 9/9/04.

Also, that heading is MY analysis of what Dan Rather's quote amounts to, not the title of the NYObserver.com article. I thought it was so amazing that he would go into such detail about the qualifications the forger would need to create the memos, and then to find the Air Force Manual reference 45 times in Lechliter's 36-page attack, where he ACKNOWLEDGES that Heldt helped him. This made me lean more towards Heldt as the typist than Burkett, although I think they're all involved.

There's an update of the "D... (Below threshold)

There's an update of the "Dan Rather Profiles the Forger - for us" item at http://blog.mu.nu/cgi/mt-comments.cgi?entry_id=46126 (at Ace of Spades HQ ace.mu.nu.)

I don't want to hog your space here, but I wanted to let you all know.

From Online Journal:... (Below threshold)
Randal Sprinkle:

From Online Journal:
Thursday, February 12, 2004 - posted by Bev Conover : 11:22 PM

"Now, the more they[Bush Administration]fuss, fume, waffle and spin, the more determined even the corporate media are now to join us in digging even deeper.

The true heroes in this effort are Lt. Col. Bill Burkett, now retired, who served under then-Adjutant Gen. Daniel James of the Texas Air National Guard, and Iowa farmer Martin Heldt. Online Journal, among other online publications, broke the stories about what Burkett had to say and Heldt obtained through Freedom of Information requests, beginning in June 2000"

Team work?

Hi, Randal, hmmmm... ... (Below threshold)

Hi, Randal, hmmmm...

I've gone over to the new thread "Kerry May Have Gotten Forged Memos" But see below, this is the thing that bothers me - Burkett wrote this himself at veteransforpeace.org/what_do_you_say_032203.htm : (last paragraph on that site)

"Lt. Col. Bill Burkett completed 28 years of decorated service and was medically retired from the US Army National Guard in 1998..."

BURKETT = ARMY Natl Guard. But Bush/Killian - AIR Natl Guard.

If that's true, as he plainly writes it, then he couldn't have been at the AIR Natl Guard Base building or office. Surely these two arms of the Guard don't share the same space? I suppose one would now have to check if he was ever under then-Adjutant Gen. Daniel James - if James even exists. I'm beginning to think his whole miles-long net trail is a bunch of baloney.

Dear Randal, the more I loo... (Below threshold)

Dear Randal, the more I look at our two posts juxtaposed, the more I realize the fraud that's been perpetrated. Surely, Burkett wouldn't make such a mistake on his own resume? Army when he meant Air? So, then he's convinced even his own side to continue the falsehood that he was in the Air Guard. I don't think it's likely that someone switches during their career, is it? He retired in 98 and the incidents he claims to have occurred with the phonecalls/hallway meetings/files trashing was in 1997. Also Bush's records weren't even there anymore. But I'm repeating myself. Let's switch over to the new thread.

Hi!I was trying to... (Below threshold)


I was trying to post to Allah, but could not, so I am doing so here. I just reread The Prowler's articles in the American Spectator. They wrote one on Sept. 13 that said two Kerry staff people insisted they had the memos by way of an additional source. Could someone go back and read that article? Would that help clarify all the facts as to when and who received what, and about the additional source? The Prowler's information is inside the DNC and should be true.

Interesting, Marty is my ne... (Below threshold)

Interesting, Marty is my nephew...laugh...wow..now i could tell ya stories...good reading






Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile


Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links


Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login

Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy