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Burkett's Phony Source


So who did Bill Burkett tell CBS he got the memos from? Former Guardsman George O. Conn.

From The New York Times:

Mr. Rather said that Mr. Burkett had initially refused to say who gave him the documents, and that CBS pressured him to do so. "We made it clear that the chain of possession was very important to us," Mr. Rather said.

Mr. Rather recalled that Mr. Burkett had said he had gotten the documents from a former guard member who was now overseas. Mr. Rather said producers had tried to get in touch with him, but had not, though knowing his identity bolstered the team's confidence just the same.

"It was a person who could have had direct access to Killian's files," he said. "That made it believable."

From a profile of Burkett by The Washington Post's Michael Dobbs:
A Feb. 13 story in the Boston Globe noted that a former Guardsman cited by Burkett as a key corroborating witness denied that he led Burkett to a room where Bush's records were being vetted. "I have no recall of that whatsoever," said George O. Conn, a former chief warrant officer with the Guard and a friend of Burkett's. "None, zip, nada." Burkett later said that Conn, a civilian employee of the U.S military in Germany, recanted his story because of political pressure from the White House.

Conn could not be reached to comment.

Burkett may have figured that by naming a source who had publically repudiated his charges, that there would be no way CBS would approve the story. Boy was he wrong about that... [Ed - that's just my hunch.]

Note to CBS fact checkers, Google could have saved you a load of heartache.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Burkett's Phony Source:

» Captain's Quarters linked with CBS Coordinated Smear With Kerry Advisor

» Rathergate.com linked with Links. 'Cause Sleep is for the Week

» Right On Red linked with Who Pointed CBS To Burkett?

» Ipse Dixit linked with It Just Keeps Getting Worse And Worse

» VodkaPundit linked with Fact Check My Ass

» Allah Is In The House linked with http://www.allahpundit.com/archives/000996.html

» Funmurphys: the Blog linked with Going And Going And ...

» Slings And Arrows linked with Someone Is Lying

Comments (10)

Great catch, Kevin.... (Below threshold)

Great catch, Kevin.

Umm, on the OTHER HAND, the... (Below threshold)

Umm, on the OTHER HAND, there's THIS:

"...Bill Burkett said Monday night that he warned producers at CBS that they needed to authenticate documents he gave them that were critical of President Bush's National Guard record - because he couldn't guarantee they were real.

"'Before I gave up any documents I wanted to know what you were going to do with them,' Burkett told CBS anchorman Dan Rather. 'And I insisted that they be authenticated.'

"Rather admitted that CBS had failed to heed their primary source's warning.

"Burkett also insisted that he wasn't the ultimate source of the documents, and that he invented a cover story, saying they came from a fellow Guardsman, when CBS pressed him to reveal his own source..."

AND SO, I am still asking, what, specifically, is Dan Rather and CBS "sorry" for and about? That they were caught? Exposed in their dreaded deceit? That someone actually asked for substantiation to charges about the President of the U.S.? That CBS had to substantiate it's "source(s)" and could not? Would not?

MY HUNCH is that CBS and Dan Rather know well who provided the forgeries. They just NEED to continue to allege that they don't have the faintest idea...

The producer proceeding to act -- TO ANY DEGREE -- on "documents" based upon the quid pro quo arrangement with Burkett, well, that's just insane. Certainly certifies that she's no producer, no journalist, but that she is an operative. So, call it what it is: political espionage using the media, at least, in this specific case, using CBS. Whether there was willing participation or not, is another story, but not the point.

You can't cheat an honest m... (Below threshold)
Reginald Thornton:

You can't cheat an honest man.

Earlier comments, what I wa... (Below threshold)

Earlier comments, what I was trying to point out, is that Rather and CBS, both/either/or, have made ongoing conflicting statements about the "source" and what CBS knew and did and did not do, what Burkett told them, what they acted upon and what they didn't act upon as to what Burkett told them.

So, at this point, nothing that is said is reliable. That includes said by Burkett, also.

While "you can't cheat an honest man," there is no honor among thieves. Someone'll lie about one thing, they'll lie about everything/anything. The point isn't that one lie took place but that a person is a liar. Which applies to this ongoing situation to my read, about CBS, Dan Rather, Burkett, the CBS producer, the DNC's correspondent with CBS, and everyone involved.

The only individuals I woulnd't apply that standard to are the hapless persons who earlier on said that they'd noticed a "Kinko's" fax information atop the documents...

Still, Rather seems to have shown his hand earlier on by using his "unimpeachable source" description while initially selling the ruse. That's a sure giveaway to me that Rather knew the source as well as anyone. Everything else he's said afterward seems to be erasure.

What makes you think Burket... (Below threshold)

What makes you think Burkett - who was clearly desperate to get these documents made public - thought they wouldn't run the story?

Most glaring giveaway here:... (Below threshold)

Most glaring giveaway here: Mapes calling a possible source, suggesting the idea for content, content she'd already been advised by Killian's closest survivors wasn't realistic, wasn't likely to ever exist...so what does the producer do but telephone an already established as unreliable partisan person with noted issues of perceptions and suggest that certain information would be of interest.

Low and behold, certian information materializes. I've read better scripts for B movies.

What's missing here is this... (Below threshold)

What's missing here is this important bit of info:

Burkett told CBS BEFORE they aired the story that he got the documents from George Conn (heh, con ... get it).

But CBS never contacted Conn.

I can hear Dan in the background: COOOOOOONNNNNNN )(insert Shatner voice here)

I can hear Dan in the ba... (Below threshold)

I can hear Dan in the background: COOOOOOONNNNNNN )(insert Shatner voice here)


Yes, insert Shatner voice <... (Below threshold)

Yes, insert Shatner voice here.

CBS fucked up royally.... (Below threshold)

CBS fucked up royally.

Having said that, though, I spoke to Conn myself and he told me that he had indeed visited that room with Burkett. He claimed it was for no particular reason, but he did make the visit that Burkett said he did.

I haven't posted about this because it hardly seems fair to drag Conn into this whole mess. Still, his statements are on the record in my archives. They're easily found.






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