Sunday, September 12, 2004

Beyond Lies To Absurdity

The CBS story has fallen apart, completely. The man interviewed by Dan Rather, Ben Barnes, claimed to get George W. Bush into the National Guard when he was a young politician in Texas. It was a lie. He is the vice-chairman of John Kerry's campaign in Texas, he is John Kerry's neighbor in Nantucket, and he is a potential member of a John Kerry Cabinet. Ben Barnes daughter has also come forward to say that her father is a liar. She states that he told her in 2000 that he had not helped George W. Bush get into the Guard. It is worth mentioning that he also signed an affidavit to that effect. None of this was mentioned in the 60 minutes report.

The memos that Dan rather produced have been proven a forgery by every independent expert that has looked at them. Farrell Shiver, Philip Bouffard (who is considered the leading expert and who wrote the software that most other experts use), sources in the Pentagon have now stated that the memos are fake. There is no question, they are not real. As proof of their validity, CBS said two retired military men close to Lt. Col. Killian, the commanding officer who supposedly wrote the fake memos, Robert Strong and Maj. Gen. Hodges. Both of whom have now come forward to say that they were mislead by CBS and believe the memos to be fake. The widow and son of Lt. Col. Killian also say they documents are fake and in fact, Lt. Col. Killian was proud of George W. Bush. It has also been discovered that the man who was supposedly exerting pressure on Lt. Col. Killian to "sugarcoat" the President's Guard Service had retired 18 months before the memo was written.

Dan Rather has to rectify all of these problems before the technical aspects of the memos should even be discussed, and the memos have many technical problems. On Friday night Dan Rather defended the documents on air and introduced an "expert" who supposedly verified that the type of font used, along with the superscript of the letters th was possible. It has now been found that the man Dan Rather apparently relied on to verify the documents is not an expert in typography, but handwriting, and he looked only at one document not all four. When this became known, CBS (and this may be the most remarkable aspect of the story thus far) quoted a Boston Globe story on air. The Boston Globe had interviewed Dr. Philip Bouffard, the same expert mentioned above. According to Dr. Bouffard, he told the Globe that he and his colleagues had become more and more convinced that the documents are forgeries. However, when the Globe ran the story they twisted his words to make it appear as though he believed the documents were real! Br. Bouffard quickly contacted INDC Journal, the blog that had first interviewed him and asked them to do all they could to spread the word that the Boston Globe had lied about his statement. Needless to say Dr. Bouffard was very angry. INDC Journal interviewed Dr. Bouffard re: the Boston Globe interview and the fact that the Boston Globe had twisted his words was quickly disseminated across the web on sites that are read by hundreds of thousands of people per day. After this, CBS referenced the Boston Globe story on their web site and on air as proof that the documents are real. Unbelievably, the researchers at CBS are so sloppy that they were unable to get Dr. Bouffards name right. They referred to im on the web and on air as Dr. Broussard!

This is absurd. There is nothing left of the story Dan rather brought to the airwaves on 60 Minutes. I stated two days ago that Dan rather would never admit the documents are fake because he has nothing to gain by doing so. It now appears that I was right. The evidence that Dan rather used forgeries for his expose on the President's Guard Service is beyond overwhelming, but at this hour there is no indication that CBS will back down. Powerline has a post about this and the effect on broadcast journalism. The conclusion of their post is that we have to assume from now on that major media outlets are willing to sacrifice their reputations in order to push an agenda. (As it so happens this is not the first 60 Minutes story based on fake documents.)

At least two media outlets this morning are reporting the fact that the documents and the entire story appear to be fake. The Washington Times and the New York Times. The Investor's Business Daily also has an editorial that concludes the memos are false, and they believe that if the are both Dan rather and the president of CBS News, Andrew Heyward, should resign. It may not be too long before more and more people agree with their conclusion.

Be sure to check the current posts for updates.