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CBS Panel Overlooked Evidence That Discredited Memo

Former Texas Air National Guard member William Campenni makes a pretty compelling case in The Washington Times that Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP were being a bit disingenuous when they claimed that "it may never be possible for anyone to authenticate or discredit the documents."

The selected memo is that dated May 4, 1972, wherein the late Lt. Col. Jerry Killian orders 1st Lt. Bush to report for a flight physical not later than May 14. This memo is the most expository of the memo forgeries for several reasons. First, while the other five memos may be considered Mr. Killian's memos to self, and thus personal musings never intended for distribution, this particular memo is posited as a direct order to 1st Lt. Bush, mailed to his (wrong) home address. It was used obsessively by CBS and Bush opponents in the campaign as evidence of his refusal to obey a direct order. If any criminal or civil liabilities for fraud or forgery of government documents obtain, they would be most applicable to this document

...[H]ow do I prove this memo is a fake? Easy - for the weekend that 1st Lt. Bush was supposedly ordered to report for his physical, May 13-14, 1972, the Ellington Air Guard Base was closed. It was Mother's Day. Except for emergencies, Air Guard units never drilled on Mother's Day; the divorce lawyers would be waiting at the gate.

While CBS, in its rush to judgment, might have missed this fatal flaw in the Burkett memo, its investigative law firm, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP, cannot be excused. Why? Because one of their investigating lawyers was informed of this fact on Nov. 15 and given a list of seven witnesses who worked in the same offices with Jerry Killian every day in 1972.

Paraphrasing Campenni; to believe the documents were not discredited you would have to believe that Killian, the squadron commander and one of the drill-schedule planners, was unaware on May 4 that the clinic was closed the next weekend.



Listed below are links to weblogs that reference CBS Panel Overlooked Evidence That Discredited Memo:

» Joe's Dartblog linked with Rathergate Update

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» CaptainNormal.org linked with Playing the "bias card"

Comments (22)

I find it just as believabl... (Below threshold)
Justin B:

I find it just as believable that Bush was supposed to get a physical on Mother's Day as that John Kerry spent Christmas in Cambodia getting shot at by the South Vietnamese.

Hey, his story seemed plausible to them. Give CBS some credit.

Why bother with this.... (Below threshold)
Geoffrey Dean:

Why bother with this.
The memo being written with WORD is a 1000 times better proof than any fingerprint.
There are hundreds of points of comparisons with wordprocessing parameters compared with a few fingerprint whirls.
As for testimonies of witmesses, this kind of proof is notoriuosly bad.

This is the kind of "gotcha... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

This is the kind of "gotcha" one expects from an Encyclopedia Brown story. The mere fact that an investigative force like C-BS didn't even think to fact-check their story against a CALENDAR has, I think, finally pushed this from scandal to farce.

Naturally, I say that while I didn't bother to check a calendar, either, but I'm NOT A PROFESSIONAL. What's C-BS' excuse?


I truly beleive it is only ... (Below threshold)
Rob Hackney:

I truly beleive it is only a matter of time before we find a secret paper trail leading right up to the top of CBS showing just how much on the payrol of the DEMOCRATS they actually are. And to think that maggot wasn't even fired over this whole thing. Meh.

Rob - yes, just a few more ... (Below threshold)

Rob - yes, just a few more dots before the CBS/DNC line can be drawn. I noticed the LA Times 1/16/05 article carefully LEFT OUT Paul Lukasiak's name in the lineup revealed in the Thornburgh Report: Lukasiak referring Mapes to Linda Starr, who then referred her to Burkett. The article was full of excuses and lies, trying to rewrite history. But the most significant was the omission. Why would they try to hide Lukasiak's name? He has obviously been doing "opposition research" - at least as far back as 2001 per Google. Unless he's independently wealthy, someone must be paying him.

Mebbe this was just all an ... (Below threshold)

Mebbe this was just all an elaborate, "YOUR MOM!" ? :D

I think the reason they won... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I think the reason they won't outright admit they are fakes is obvious. If the left wing wacked out liberals don't have to admit they are fakes, they can still sort of use them to intimate that Bush was/is a horrible man.

Back to Rather's belief that even if the documents are fake, the stuff in them is true.

The libs know they are fake, but if they don't actually have to admit it, they can still use what was in them as a bat to beat Bush with.

I don't think you will ever get them to admit they are forgeries.

On the question of why Rath... (Below threshold)

On the question of why Rather remains employed, I'd like to posit the theory that CBS news has taken on so much water after starting from the position of being nearly sunk that it couldn't imagine firing one of their brands. Even a brand whose best days are far gone.

It'd be the same if Mickey Mouse were overheard wishing visitors to Disney Land a happy Martin Luther Coon King Jr. Day. Mickey's best days are definitely behind him, but can you imagine Disney leaving his movies in the vault forever?

Put some big round ears on Dan Rather and the resemblance is striking.

CBS is testing a new market... (Below threshold)

CBS is testing a new marketing strategy where they tout their reporting as "Fake, But Accurate!"

It's not testing as well as "We Report, You Decide" did.

Andre300 wrote:"On t... (Below threshold)
Rob Hackney:

Andre300 wrote:
"On the question of why Rather remains employed, I'd like to posit the theory that CBS news has taken on so much water after starting from the position of being nearly sunk that it couldn't imagine firing one of their brands. Even a brand whose best days are far gone.
It'd be the same if Mickey Mouse were overheard wishing visitors to Disney Land a happy Martin Luther Coon King Jr. Day. Mickey's best days are definitely behind him, but can you imagine Disney leaving his movies in the vault forever?
Put some big round ears on Dan Rather and the resemblance is striking."

Rather is a lying child molesting left wing asshat. What has happened to standards of journalism when a man like that remains employed. He is allowed to transmit his blatant PC leftist garbage propaganda.It's disgusting. I would n ot shed a tar if someone finally put a bullet in his head.

At least Fox News fired the reporting asswipe who attempted to steal iraqi artifacts on his way home from the war last year. ( or was it the year before I forget. )

The "panel" was a pair of l... (Below threshold)

The "panel" was a pair of lawyers hired to protect CBS. The production of the report was a pig-circus intended to simulate an independant report. This can only work if enough pundits either go along for the ride (count on the MSM) or are happy with "half a loaf".

Good work on the Mothers Day loophole- more clear evidence CBS was in full political mode before, during, and after the infamous story was broadcast.

The more I think about it, ... (Below threshold)

The more I think about it, the more I realize there's a rather interesting, calculated assumption being made here. The evidence about either CBS' malfeasance or inability to see past their own pet stories is interesting in itself, but too little is being made, IMO, of ole Moonie's comment about Internet users who don't expect information from a centralized source, a sort of voice of God. This is essentially an admittance that the modern viewer within the largest advertising demographics (as those least likely to have disposable incomes tend to use the Net less, iirc [edit: which may not matter vis-a-vis Fox News, et. al. Does anyone know the Net usage stats on Fox vs MSM viewers]) no longer trusts any singular agent enough to receive news only from him/her. Thus, the wager is whether: Dan Rather's inability to grasp reality (or his lying, depending on your stance) really _matters._ If a good deal of your audience believes you're not trustworthy to begin with, why go to the trouble of firing a credentialed newscaster for being _untrustworthy?_ It almost lends a greater soap opera element to it (the same reason I watch Dan Rather on election night, or why people bet on Joan Rivers' flubs for the awards). The idiot or liar takes on a sort of entertainment value.

I think while the left often gives the general public too little credit for their intelligence, we all often give too much credit to the general public's care or belief in the trustworthiness of the media. People tend to move towards what agrees with them or humors them, not (especially in my own generation, bring on more Britney Spears please!) what seems to be some stoic representation of "the facts."

Just a thought.

I wish I could remember whe... (Below threshold)

I wish I could remember where I read a comment from a military physician when all this started. He basically said that being one who regularly performed these "flight physicals", he knew that enlistees were never informed or reminded of when their physicals were due. They knew when it was due and it was their responsibility to be present at that time. It wasn't hard for one to remember that physicals were due around their birthdate (if I remember correctly). GWB was born on July 6th.

I thought it just another strange irregularity.

Of course I could be full of "you know what" and have allowed someone to "pull my leg".

Oyster, I also saw that com... (Below threshold)

Oyster, I also saw that comment somewhere. I'll see if I can find it here in a bit and link it.

Oyster, I read it too. Exa... (Below threshold)

Oyster, I read it too. Exactly as you said. That makes the "deadline" in the fake memo even more specious. Bush's "deadline" would have been in July, not May. At this point, I'm not even googling on that anymore. We all reached the "Finish line" long ago and many times over on proving the memos are fake. But the whodunit isn't over! :)

Oyster/Adam/BR,Yea... (Below threshold)


Yeah, Bush wouldn't have been ordered to take a physical before it was due. There were too many red flags for Mapes to retain any shred of credibility after this. It really is too bad to see someone completely destroy their own career.

Remember this from the earl... (Below threshold)

Remember this from the early days? On 9/10/04 "The Prowler" at American Spectator reported that his sources within the DNC and CBS said the DNC already had these fake docs BEFORE CBS:


More than six weeks ago, an opposition research staffer for the Democratic National Committee received documents purportedly written by President George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard squadron commander, the late Col. Jerry Killian.

The oppo researcher claimed the source was "a retired military officer." According to a DNC staffer, the documents were seen by both senior staff members at the DNC, as well as the Kerry campaign.

"More than a couple people heard about the papers," says the DNC staffer. "I've heard that they ended up with the Kerry campaign, for them to decide to how to proceed, and presumably they were handed over to 60 Minutes, which used them the other night. But I know this much. When there was discussion here, there were doubts raised about their authenticity."


So WHO was that "opposition research staffer for the Democratic National Committee" ??? Could it be Lukasiak? We already pretty much know that Burkett was simply the conduit to mask the true origin.

For Lukasiak/Heldt/Mapes li... (Below threshold)

For Lukasiak/Heldt/Mapes links, see:

On The Trail Of The Forger - Part III
on 1/11/05 entries at 10:07, 10:18, 10:58 AM and

'CBS Report - Webified' on 1/12/05 entries at 6:48 & 8:48 AM.

I read the entire comment s... (Below threshold)

I read the entire comment section as Kos' place that you linked to. I have to admit I don't much get along with people of Republican persuasion usually, but the idiocy I saw there made me want to vomit. Are these actual, real people? Can they work outside of conspiracy theories? Is it possible they still haven't gotten the simple point that if you adduce false evidence it doesn't give justification for the running of a story? I can't see how people who feel themselves so much smarter than the unwashed hoi polloi can be so blind.

Inflammatory P.S. Commentar... (Below threshold)

Inflammatory P.S. Commentary:

They use the exact same mode of reasoning as the radical Islamists in the ME. Scary.

- BR - Precisely why I neve... (Below threshold)

- BR - Precisely why I never believed Burkette was the source of the documents....I still believe he was just a straw man and had no part in the actual production of the Docs used on the air, other than "advising" Mapes...I alos don't think the docs suddenly turned up last fall...There were sources and stories circulating during the later stages of the exposure cycle to the efect that a pack of documents had been floating around the DNC for years, but they had seen they were fakes easily and turned down the opportunity to "buy" them....that is until some AssHat at the DNC got the brilliant idea to use CBS to front their publication.....

- CBS will fire everyone in the damn building to avoid ever having to answer the two key questions in all of this.... especially in front of a congressional hearing under oath.... Manipulation of a National Election and the possession of fraudulent Military documents are high crimes...No one, even the Republicans really want to go there....

Then it's obstruction of ju... (Below threshold)

Then it's obstruction of justice by both parties. Politics should not interfere with enforcing the laws of the land.






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