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20 years

One day after holding a press conference and calling President George W. Bush a liar for claiming he had served honorably in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam era, Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe was forced to hold a second news conference in which he said that Democrats "unequivocally" did not leak forged memos to CBS. Now who's lying? In fact, not only did McAuliffe assert that the smear campaign did not originate with anyone in the Democratic Party (meaning the DNC or the Kerry Campaign), he then blamed the counterfeiting of false documents on Karl Rove, the Bush campaign strategist. Why? Because, he claimed, Rove wanted to make Kerry look bad. McAuliffe doesn't realize Kerry doesn't need any help in that area. Everytime Hanoi John opens his mouth, he makes himself look bad. But Kerry doesn't look quite as bad as McAuliffe, who refused to apologize to the President of the United States for calling him a liar.

Blaming Rove for "the invisible man's" attempt to drive Bush's poll numbers down is really stupid—and only a far left liberal or a far right extremist would believe it. Come to think of it, that's pretty much what the global Muslim community did right after 9-11 when it was revealed that Islamic extremists skyjacked the planes that took down the World Trade Center and left a gaping hole in the Pentagon a year ago today. They blamed the Jews, claiming it was a Zionist plot between the Mossad and Bush to allow him to wage his own Jihad against peace-loving Islamists so he could steal their oil.

Also calling Bush a liar was 4-term Senator Tom Harkin [D-IO] who has his own problems with truth. In 1979 when Harkin launched his first run for Congress he claimed that he flew air combat patrols in Vietnam during his stint in the U.S. Navy. No one bothered to give Harkin an "honesty check" until 1991 when Harkin launched a bid for the White House against draft dodger Bill Clinton. The Clinton machine did not have to dig deep to discover Harkins had lied about his own service record. He never flew combat missions anywhere. Harkin was a pilot, and he served in Vietnam. But the only missions Harkin flew were mail runs. Yet, the liberal media continues to give people like Harkin a podium from which to point fingers at others.

Finally—before focusing on the forged documents that the Kerry Campaign anticipated using to smear Bush after Dan Rather exposed him as a draft-dodging liar who went AWOL from his safe berth in the Texas Air National Guard—let's look briefly at the campaign integrity of John F. Kerry. It is a safe bet, although his campaign denies it, that Kerry believed Bush's standing in the polls would plummet (just as his did from the Swift Boat Veterans TV ads) and his own ratings would rebound. Remember when Kerry jumped into the race last year? Because his wife's personal fortune is estimated at somewhere between $500 million and a billion dollars, Kerry was elevated to frontrunner status because, the media said, Kerry had enough personal wealth to finance his own campaign and, thus, he could not be bought by special interests. First, Kerry has no personal wealth. Second, Kerry can be bought by anyone who has the price of a Senate vote. In point of fact, Kerry has reached out even farther than Bill Clinton and Al Gore in his search for contributors—he reached all the way to South Korea.

In February, the Kerry Campaign announced it had just returned a $2,000 campaign contribution from Chun Jae-yong, son of Chun Dooh-hwan, the former president of the Republic of South Korea. Kerry's campaign did not say he was returning the money because it is illegal for a Korean citizen to donate money to an American politician. Kerry's campaign people said he was returning the contribution because Chun was arrested by South Korean authorities for evading taxes on a $14 million inheritance. Kerry himself said: "I didn't think anything [was] wrong with it..." Apparently, after the Clinton-Gore campaign snagged $650 thousand in contributions from the People's Liberation Army in 1996, neither did the liberal media. I guess the media thought a $2,000 contribution from a South Korean citizen was too small of an item to report. Nor did the media remind the voters that John Kerry got caught with his hand in the People's Republic of China piggy bank in 1996.

On May 21, 1998 the Washington Post reported that Clinton-Gore fund-raiser, Johnny Chung, 43, who plea-bargained a light sentence, delivered a $50,000 contribution to the White House and gave it to Margaret A. Williams, Hillary Clinton's chief of staff. Williams accepted the check and passed it along to the DNC, which deposited it. Aside from the fact that candidates cannot accept contributions from foreign governments, federal law prohibits federal employees from accepting political contributions on government property. It is a crime punishable with "hard time." If you recall, the White House snuffed it off saying that Williams did not technically "accept" the check—she merely agreed to pass it along to the DNC which then officially accepted it. In that same article, the Post went on to say: "As part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in March, Chung was charged with funneling illegal contributions to the 1996 Clinton-Gore campaign by asking friends and employees of his office technology firm to make donations for which they were later reimbursed. Chung is also charged with engaging in a similar 'straw donor' scheme to assist the 1996 reelection bid of Senator John F. Kerry [D-MA]." Since Kerry does not seem to realize that he is prevented by federal law from accepting money from non-citizens, perhaps the Federal Elections Commission should check his donor list to see if he has inadvertently accepted contributions from any of those world leaders whom Kerry said wanted him to defeat Bush this fall—especially his friends in Russia, North Korea and North Vietnam.

The Democrats who rushed front and center to denounce the President and accuse him of lying should not be casting stones since it could bring their own glass houses down around their ears.

On Wednesday, 60-Minutes II produced documents that—if true—would have been very damning to the President. Dan Rather presented what he insisted was concrete "evidence" that President Bush (like Bill Clinton) had personally asked connected people to get him a deferment from the draft by securing him a berth in the Texas Air National Guard. Furthermore, Rather said, 60-Minutes II would produce evidence in the form of letters written by Lt. Col. Jerry Killian (Bush's commanding officer) in which Bush was reprimanded for not following orders, In addition, the documents would show that Bush had been "AWOL," and that as a result of Bush's failure to obey an order from his superior, that 2nd Lt. George W. Bush was punitively suspended from flight status.

One of the four documents purports that a Bush family friend, Col. Walter "Buck" Staudt pressured a subordinate to favorably alter fitness reports on Lt. Bush. However Staudt left the Air National Guard on March 1, 1972. Staudt's suposed pressuring of one of his subordinates to "sugar coat" Bush's fitness report was dated August 18, 1973—18 months after Staudt retired. Another military officer whom Rather said would substantiate that the documents were genuine was Maj. Gen. Bobby Hodges, who was Killian's immediate supervisor. Hodges, however, told the Los Angeles Times he thought the memos were fake.

Rather further insists that CBS diligently verified the authenticity of documents upon which they were basing their allegations, and that each document "...was thoroughly vetted by independent experts and we are convinced of their authenticity." Apparently it does not take much to convince CBS that forgeries are authentic. CBS seems determined to fall on their own picard, just like the New York Times. CBS admits that the documents did not come from either the military or the Killian family even though they will not reveal their "source." The Washington Post—not a bastion of conservative reporting by any means—hired a couple of experts who had little trouble raising doubts about the authenticity of the documents. William Flynn, one of the nation's leading forensic document experts, said the CBS documents were suspicious just by their general appearance. Flynn pointed out that 1970s era typewriters spaced letters evenly on the page. In other words, an "i" consumed as much space on the page as an "m" or a "w." The letters which appear in the words in the xeroxed document use proportional spacing—a relatively recent

development in both word processors and computers that were not available in 1972 and 1973 when the documents presented by CBS were supposedly written. (While IBM did have an electric typewriter in 1973 that did proportional spacing, (a) it was not in general use, and (b) it was not in use by the military at all.) Furthermore, the IBM electric typewriter did not allow superscript lettering (line 2, above with the reference to the 111th FLS.) Flynn also noticed that the proportional spacing was done both across and up-and-down the page. That required a computer.

A second forensics expert, Phil Bouffard noted the CBS documents appeared to be done in Times Roman, widely used by word processing programs, but not common on typewriters. In Bouffard's view, whomever produced the documents did so using Microsoft Word™—which, of course, was not even invented in 1972.

Adding further insult to CBS' credibility, Eugene Hussey, a certified forensic document expert and former Secret Service Agent, was hired by the Washington Times to examine the two signatures purported to be that of Lt. Col. Killian on Friday. Until now, the press scrutiny has been on the text of the documents and not the signatures. Those who concluded the documents were counterfeit assumed the signatures were "cut and pasted" onto the newly created 1972 and 1973 documents by gluing old signatures to a new message and then xeroxing the message three or four times to erase the telltale lines. After examining samples of Killian's signature from two different sources, Hussey said "...It is my limited opinion that Killian did not sign these." Hussey clarified his statement, saying it was qualified only because he did not see the original documents. Those he saw were third or fourth generation, or more, xerox copies. Each generational copy loses 10% of its clarity.

Every publicly identified forensic document examiner (until CBS was forced to reveal the identity of their "experts") has agreed the documents are forgeries. Nevertheless, Dan Rather who broke the story, insisted that experts had verified the authenticity of the documents. He poophahed the findings of the three certified forensic experts, saying that skeptics of the documents are "partisan politicians." The Washington Post might not like that characterization since they were the first to examine them and label them as frauds. Forced to produce the "experts" who carefully examined the documents, CBS produced one expert: Marcel Matley, a San Francisco handwriting examiner and declined to name two others who disputed the authenticity of the doucments.. Matley has listed himself as a handwriting expert on most of the expert witness websites. He is a frequent witness for the defense in the courtroom. You might remember him as the expert witness called by the Clinton Administration to examine the suicide note supposedly written by Vince Foster that was found in his briefcase by one of White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum's aides specifically to rebut the statements made by a group of forensic experts who held a press conference on October 25, 1995 and declared the Foster suicide note a forgery. Why Matley? Because he was the handwriting expert used by the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock and Matley could be counted on to deliver the correct testimony. Vince Foster's suicide note, which was not written in a handwriting identifiable as Foster's, was torn into 28 pieces. Yet the rebuttal expert—Matley—argued that Foster's handwriting appeared completely different only because he was "stressed" over the contemplation of killing himself.

The other two forensic documents examiners, Linda James and Emily Will both had problems with the memos and advised CBS that they felt uncomfortable with them. James told CBS that she thought the documents had been produced on a computer. Will told CBS she had several problems with the documents, particularly the superscript. CBS said they had also consulted two other forensic experts but declined to name them.

When Dan Rather was forced to defend his admonition that the Bush memos were genuine, he brought a type font specialist onto his "rebuttal" program who stated on the air that the type font known as Times Roman has been available since 1931. However, it was not a typewriter font in 1931, nor was it in 1973. Also, no typewriter available in the military in 1972 had the ability to type a superscript.

What prompted the Washington Times to hire an expert was their noticing that the two signatures in the samples supplied by CBS were visibly different from samples they secured from the Department of Defense. Killian's actual signature is very cryptic and almost child-like compared to the signatures purported to be Killian's by CBS.

In addition, the CBS documents use the acronym NLT for "not later than" which military officials don't use. The memo also use the acronym AFM for "Air Force Manual." While that acronym is used, it would never have been cited by anyone in the military as the regulatory authority for a mandatory flight physical.

Further, in their investigation, a Washington Times computer expert retyped one of the CBS memos in Microsoft Word on a computer, and superimposed his document over the CBS document. They were a perfect match, character by character. The expert noted that even if a circa 1972 typewriter contained keys in Times Roman, they could not match perfectly with computer generated text simply because line spacing was not available 30 years ago. One further bit of evidence that suggests the memos are forgeries is that the memo dealing with Bush's physical demands that Bush have his flight physical by the end of May, 1972. In point of fact, since Bush was born in July, his annual physical would not have been due until July, 1972, not May.

CBS, which still insists the documents they presented are legitimate 1972 era memos, refuses to say how they obtained the memos, or who provided them other than to admit they did not come from anyone in the military nor did they come from the Killian family. That leaves only political operatives. And given the choice between political operatives for the Bush people and the Kerry people—and the fact that all of the Kerry operatives were armed with information about the memos before anyone theoretically had seen them, my money is on the Kerry people, the DNC, or one of the anti-Bush 527s whose agendas are correlated through the Kerry campaign with providing CBS the ingredients for the mudcake that was used to smear the President.

And, of course, since Dan Rather has a well known bias against the Bush family dating back to the first Gulf War when Rather warned that the elder Bush would come to regret his decision to keep the news media in the blind, it is easy to see why he was the talking head who was given the forged documents. Someone may have suspected he would not try very hard to discredit them.

 

Just Say No
Copyright 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
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