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Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Ben Barnes, Dan Rather, and the FORGED Dubya documents "exposed" tonight on "60 Minutes II"

Update (Thu Sep 9 @ 4:40pm):  I'm satisfied that the "new documents" CBS produced last night are indeed forgeries.  See the updates at the bottom of this now extremely rambling and disorganized post for details.


I'm repeating myself.  I didn't intend to write about this again, so soon.  But while I don't have the exact quote — and didn't have my videotape running, unfortunately, and missed the first few minutes of the segment — Dan Rather told a whopper on "60 Minutes II" tonight when he said (quoting from memory) that "Ben Barnes hasn't told this story before tonight."

Dan, as the WaPo noted last week, as part of the breathless buildup to your new exposé — Ben Barnes told this same story, and actually gave an affidavit and/or deposition testimony pretty much to the same effect, in 1999.  His spin now is more colorful, but his facts haven't changed.

Barnes thinks he did a favor to get young Dubya into the Texas Air National Guard.  He didn't say in 1999 — and he again didn't say tonight — that anyone from the Bush family asked him to do so.  Nor has it been established that without Barnes' unsought intercession, Dubya wouldn't have gotten into the same spot in which he ended up.  And the unit for which Dubya signed up had pilots flying in combat over Southeast Asia at that moment.  Even stateside Guard service flying an F-102 was dangerous duty — certainly at least as dangerous, and similarly honorable, as serving as a junior officer aboard a guilded missile friggate.

But Barnes almost wept on camera tonight — oh the guilt!  The anguish!  Barnes says he had the power of life or death, and ignobly chose to save Dubya from death!  Why, if that's so, it's a wonder lightning doesn't jump out of the Vietnam Memorial and strike Barnes down!

Except he didn't have that power, and the spot he thinks he got Bush into wasn't safe, or even safe from combat.  And neither young Bush, nor Poppy and Barb, had anything to do with whatever it was that Barnes thinks he did.

But wait!  There's more!  CBS' crack investigative reporters turned up previously unreleased documents "from the personal files of [the late] Col. Jerry Killian, Mr. Bush's squadron commander."  And — I know you're holding your breath for this — they say the same thing the previously released documents said!  That is, that Bush sought permission from the TANG to move briefly to Alabama to work on a political campaign.  From CBS' website:

Another memo refers to a phone call from the lieutenant in which he and his commander "discussed options of how Bush can get out of coming to drill from now through November." And that due to other commitments "he may not have time."

Well, hell.  He asks for permission, and gets it.  There's a new document that refers to the discussions when he asked for permission.  This is AWOL?  This is news?  (CBS hasn't posted the new documents — we just have to take their word for what they say, since after all, CBS is the oracle of truth and knowledge for the free world. [edit — see Update below for links to and an analysis of the documents.])

And yes, we know Dubya didn't maintain his flight status and didn't take the physical that would have been necessary to do so.  We've known that for years, as we've also known that Dubya wouldn't have been flying one way or the other during that period because the TANG had more pilots than they had planes for.  I don't know whether to yawn or retch.

The website story doesn't mention Barnes' heavy personal contributions to, and fundraising for, the Kerry campaign.  I don't know if that was in the portion of tonight's broadcast that I missed — perhaps my readers can address that in comments — but if it wasn't, it should've been.  Likewise, the fact that nobody in the Bush family asked Barnes to do whatever he did should've been highlighted in the broadcast, but it certainly isn't in the website story.  We're talking minimum standards of objectivity here; but is anyone surprised that CBS and Dan Rather are unacquainted with those standards?

Ben Barnes is still famous here in Texas — as a scoundrel thrown out of office after the Sharpstown Scandal.  Texas native Dan Rather seems to be working hard to earn the same reputation with the few fair-minded people who haven't already reached that conclusion.


Update (Wed Sep 8 @ 9:45pm):  Seventeen paragraphs down, the NYT tucks this into its Thursday-edition story about Barnes' "60 Minutes II" appearance and his contemporaneous interview with the NYT (boldface added):

Mr. Barnes maintained, as he has since 1999, that he had contacted his friend who headed the Texas Air National Guard, Brig. Gen. James Rose, not at the behest of anyone in the Bush family, but rather a Houston businessman, Sidney A. Adger, a friend of the Bushes who has died.

And the NYT also described "Mr. Barnes, 66, [as] an adviser to Senator John Kerry's campaign and an influential lobbyist with offices in Austin and Washington."  No mention of the $464,250 in contributions to Kerry attributed to Barnes' efforts from 1999-2004.  I suppose that detail isn't part of "the news that's fit to print," but it's a sad commentary on CBS that the NYT looks (relatively) objective in contrast.

Regarding whether Mr. Barnes' unsolicited efforts had any effect, here's what the Dallas Morning News reported (.pdf of Lexis/Nexis download) in 1999 — still unrebutted to the best of my knowledge:

Records provided to The News by Tom Hail, a historian for the Texas Air National Guard, show that the unit Mr. Bush signed up for was not filled. In mid-1968, the 147th Fighter Interceptor Group, based in Houston, had 156 openings among its authorized staff of 925 military personnel.

Of those, 26 openings were for officer slots, such as that filled by Mr. Bush, and 130 were for enlisted men and women. Also, several former Air Force pilots who served in the unit said that they were recruited from elsewhere to fly for the Texas Guard.

Officers who supervised Mr. Bush and approved his admission to the Guard said they were never contacted by anyone on Mr. Bush's behalf.

"He didn't have any strings pulled, because there weren't any strings to pull," said Leroy Thompson of Brownwood, who commanded the squadron that kept the waiting list for the guard at Ellington Air Force Base. "Our practices were under incredible scrutiny then. It was a very ticklish time." ...

According to several former officers, the openings in the unit were filled from a waiting list kept in the base safe of Rufus G. Martin, then an Air National Guard personnel officer.

In a recent interview, Mr. Martin of San Antonio said the list was kept on computer and in a bound volume, which was periodically inspected by outside agencies to make sure the list was kept properly.

Mr. Bush said he sought the Guard position on his own, before graduating from Yale University in 1968. He personally met with Col. Walter B. Staudt, commander of the 147th group.

In an interview, Mr. Bush said he walked into Col. Staudt's Houston office and told him he wanted to be a fighter pilot.

"He told me they were looking for pilots," Mr. Bush said. He said he was told that there were five or six flying slots available, and he got one of them.

While Guard slots generally were coveted, pilot positions required superior education, physical fitness and the willingness to spend more than a year in full-time training.

"If somebody like that came along, you'd snatch them up," said the former commander, who retired as a general. "He took no advantage. It wouldn't have made any difference whether his daddy was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff."

Such old non-news.  I can't bring myself to retch — yawning is indeed appropriate, though.  (Hat-tip to QandO, which has more links and info.)

Update (Wed Sep 8 @ 9:45pm):  Just in case you haven't figured out Mr. Barnes' angle on all this, here's more (.pdf from Lexis/Nexis download) from the Dallas Morning News on July 29, 2004, describing a lobbyist party at Sen. Kerry's nominating convention, to help you get the flavor:

Federal law sharply restricts the size of contributions to candidates and political parties, but there are no limits on donations to the convention's host committee (which collected $40 million in donations, some $1 million each).

And businesses and lobbyists are free to spend whatever they want on private parties.

Texas lobbyist Ben Barnes' invitation-only reception at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, a Venetian-style palace housing 600 years of priceless art, attracted enough members of the Senate to hold a committee meeting. The event was a fund-raiser for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, and Mr. Barnes had invited a host of high rollers.

"There's nobody here who can't give $25,000," Mr. Barnes said, standing in a courtyard resplendent with flowers and ancient sculpture.

Guests walked among the Botticellis and Manets and sipped champagne.

Trial lawyers John O'Quinn of Houston and Wayne Reaud of Beaumont, who shared in the state's $17 billion tobacco settlement, chatted by the sculpture of Horas. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont glided past the Renaissance art, shaking hands.

Sen. Jon Corzine of New Jersey greeted Mr. Barnes warmly in the atrium, which soared four stories overhead.

"I've never had anybody reach out and help me more than Ben Barnes," Mr. Corzine said.

Then he threw his arms around Mr. Barnes, the lawmaker and the lobbyist.

Pretty tall cotton for one of Texas' most famous bankrupts.  And hey — John Kerry can sure count on Ben Barnes to reach out and help him, too!  (More on Barnes, albeit from a partisan source, via this link sent by one of my readers.)

Update (Wed Sep 8 @ 11:40pm):  WaPo's Dobbs is still ignoring Kerry's cover-up and recycling this old news, but does manage to point out that "Barnes has raised money for Democrat John F. Kerry's presidential campaign," and that

[Col. Walter B. "Buck" Staudt] has insisted that he was not influenced by Bush's status as the son of George H.W. Bush (R), a Texas congressman in 1968 and later head of the CIA. He has also rejected claims by former Texas lieutenant governor Ben Barnes (D) that he intervened with the head of the Texas Air National Guard to secure a position for Bush there at the request of a Bush family friend.

Meanwhile, CBS, to its credit, now has up a transcript of the segment, plus links to .pdf files with the new documents (here, here, here, and here).  I'll take a close look and may post another update, or a new post, depending on whether there's any "there" there.  (I'm pretty sure I've caught one error in the transcript, where Rather refers to Barnes' predecessor as Texas Lieutenant-Governor as "Preston Smith, communist governor Preston Smith as lieutenant governor."  But with Rather, who knows? [edit: CBS has changed "communist" to "current," which was accurate — contrary to Rather's and Barnes' recollections, Smith had already taken over the governorship from John Connally in 1969 after the November 1968 election, and Smith was reelected to a second (then two-year) and final term in 1970.  Like Barnes, Smith was also turned out of office in the 1972 election as a result of the Sharpstown Scandal, although Smith had been far less involved than Barnes in it.  Dolph Briscoe was elected in November 1972 and took office in January 1973.])

Update (Wed Sep 8 @ 11:59pm):  Well, that didn't take long.  There's no "there" there.

First, the transcript is apparently from the full interview Rather conducted with Barnes, and if I'm recalling correctly from the broadcast, the transcript includes things that got left on the editing room floor — such as Barnes' acknowledgement that he's "a supporter of Sen. Kerry."  (No mention of fundraising, etc.)  The transcript doesn't include the other talking heads that appeared in the broadcast segment with their bloviating on "power attracting power," etc.

Regarding the documents, as I've emphasized many times on this blog, I have no military background to draw upon, and I invite corrections from my readers who do.  But here's what it looks like to my unschooled eyes: 

  • The first one, dated May 4, 1972, is a standard order for Bush to get his regular physical, which he'd need to keep his flight privileges.  Describing this as something that Bush "balked" at — which is how the WaPo headline reads — is incredibly bogus.  Yes, it's phrased as an order, it's not something Bush could ignore — but in the nature of things, was a reminder of a regular obligation that all pilots had if they wished to keep their flight status.  It begs the question of whether maintaining flight status was or wasn't a big deal at that time.

  • Indeed, the next  document, dated May 19, 1972, shows that Killian and Bush talked Bush "getting his flight physical situation fixed," and Bush said he would "get his physical in Alabama if he stays in a flight status."  This is exactly consistent with what Dubya has said — that if he opted to continue flying, he knew he'd need a physical — and certainly indicates that Killian had no objection either with the delay of the physical or the possibility that Bush wouldn't stay in "flight status."  Yes, it says they "[d]iscussed options of how Bush can get out of coming to drill from now through November."  Well, duh, that means Dubya was getting a superior officer's suggestions and blessing — absolutely what he should've done in order to take advantage of the fact that he wasn't particularly needed by the Guard in Texas and wanted to finish out his obligations, with the Guard's blessings, while living in Alabama to work on a political campaign.  This is some sort of scandal?

  • The third document, dated August 1, 1972, simply confirms that since Bush hadn't had the physical, Killian was ordering that Bush "be suspended from flight status due to failure to perform to USAF/TexasANG standards and failure to meet annual physical examination status (flight) as ordered."  There's no mention of any "failure to perform" other than the failure to get the physical.  This isn't a reprimand, it's just confirmation of the fact that Bush couldn't fly without the physical.  The document notes that Bush's spot could be filled "with a more seasoned pilot from the list of qualified Vietnam pilots that have rotated" — again, exactly matching what Dubya's said regarding there being more pilots than TANG had airplanes for them to fly.  They didn't need him in Texas.

  • The fourth document, dated August 18, 1973 — note well, a full year later — is more cryptic.  Killian says he "will not rate" because "Bush wasn't here during rating period and I've received no feedback from 187th in Alabama."  Killian stuck to his guns, so whatever pressure he may have been feeling — and there's no indication whether that pressure was simply to close out the paperwork on long-past events or instead (as Bush's opponents would like to characterize it) from someone exerting pressure on Bush's behalf, with or without his knowledge — nothing ever came of it.

Meantime, Kerry continues to stonewall on documents that might show he obtained one or more medals by fraud, while Dan Rather, the NYT, and WaPo continue to fixate over this non-story.  I declare MEGO (mine eyes glazeth over) — it's bedtime for Beldar.  (Last thing before bedtime: changing the title of this post slightly to include a reference to the new documents.)

Update (Thu Sep 9 @ 11:30am):  As one of my commenters did below, Power Line notes the proportional spaced typeface used in CBS' four new documents, the paper size (there's an assertion that the military didn't typically use 8-1/2 x 11 paper then) and, in one of them, the superscripted "th" after the squadron number, and posits that the documents may be forgeries, since the typewriters used in 1972-1973 didn't commonly permit that sort of thing.  Jim Geraghty's Kerry Spot notes that the Boston Globe also has a front-page story up about the CBS documents, and points as well to the curved apostrophes.  Geraghty reserves judgment, as do I, but notes that if the documents turn out to be forged, "this report will join Stephen Glass, Jayson Blair, and Janet Cooke in [mainstream] journalism's hall of infamy."  But see an email from a reader posted on NRO's The Corner, arguing that the military did have access to correcting IBM proportional spacing typewriters during the relevant time period.

These are good questions.  Even if CBS acquired handwritten documents and typed them up on modern word processing equipment, they'd have had to do some cut-and-paste photoshopping to add the marginia and signatures; and presenting retyped versions as if they were originals would itself be deceitful.  I also recall something from the CBS broadcast about them having had the documents examined by some sort of expert to establish their authenticity and to verify Col. Killian's signature and/or initials.  How could an expert on forgeries miss this stuff?

I'm left wondering, though — if someone hostile to Dubya were to take the risk of forging such documents, why wouldn't they make up something more incriminating?  (Title of this post edited again to reference authenticity issue.)

Update (Thu Sep 9 @ 2:45pm): INDC Journal quotes from a forensic documents examiner who opines that there's a 90 percent chance the documents are fake; some of his commenters also make excellent points.  Kevin Drum reports that the copies the White House released were simply what CBS had faxed them before they aired their broadcast (dunno his source and he doesn't say — bad Kevin! [edit — via Power Line, here's a .pdf showing the CBS News fax header]), so that's no indication that the documents are genuine.  Captain's Quarters has a thread up, and Jim Geraghty's Kerry Spot, linked above, has some newer posts than the one I first linked.  Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs created what looks to be a duplicate of one of the documents using the default settings for MS Word.  More experts weigh in on Cyber News Service.com, a source not previously familiar to me and for which I cannot vouch.

Update (Thu Sep 9 @ 4:40pm):  I'm persuaded that the CBS documents are forgeries, and bad ones at that.  (Post title changed accordingly.)

At some point, there are just too many peculiarities to be reconciled, and I think we're well past that point.  The latest update over on Power Line (and similar comments elsewhere) note that the signatures of Col. Killian don't match up well.  But I'm finally persuaded that these documents were created by a modern word processor by the kerning observation (explained pretty clearly at Power Line).

One of my commenters below noted that it's odd that someone would use a word processor for these forgeries when one can buy a 1972-vintage typewriter for a few bucks on eBay.  Yes, that is odd, I agree.  I continue to marvel that someone would go to the trouble and risk of forging documents like this without coming up with something more damning.  A possible explanation might be if CBS' source was working from handwritten notes or something almost illegible, and tried to be "helpful" by retyping them on a computer and then forging the signatures, initials, and other marginalia (lawyer-speak for handwritten stuff on typed or printed documents).  In other words, a conclusion that these documents were forged does not rule out the possibility that similar legitimate documents exist, nor necessarily lead to the conclusion that the forger had evil motives.  I continue to withhold judgment on those counts.

But these documents aren't real.  That's my conclusion, not as an expert, but just using common sense.  And CBS — and through it, WaPo, NYT, the Boston Globe, and every other mainstream media source that's written about these documents last night or today — look stupid and gullible because they have been stupid and gullible.  There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Update (Thu Sep 9 @ 5:30pm):  Regarding the fourth document, and whether the "pressure" was to clean up overdue paperwork or instead to cut some special slack for Dubya:  Note the reference to "Austin."  In 1973, no Bush was in Austin.  Barnes said he never followed up with TANG after his initial "favor" on behalf of Dubya, so it wasn't him exerting pressure.  But Austin would indeed have been where the resident bitch-gods or -goddesses of incomplete paperwork were located for the Texas Air National Guard.

Update (Thu Sep 9 @ 8:00pm): The Politburo Diktat has tracked down Rather's source and discovered, to the Commissar's surprise, that he also has conclusive proof that Sen. Kerry actually did spend Christmas 1968 in Cambodia.  It's right there in the document.

Meantime, as one of my commenters noted, the Weekly Standard has consulted forensic experts who turn thumbs-down on the CBS documents.  Power Line and INDC continue to ride herd on this turkey with frequent updates.

Posted by Beldar at 08:17 PM in Mainstream Media, Politics (2006 & earlier) | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Ben Barnes, Dan Rather, and the FORGED Dubya documents "exposed" tonight on "60 Minutes II" and sent a trackback ping are listed here:

» Into the AWOL breach again... from QandO

Tracked on Sep 9, 2004 9:05:57 AM

» Stop the conspiracy, I want to get off from mypetjawa v. 2.0 (beta)

Tracked on Sep 9, 2004 12:57:27 PM


(1) ANDREI made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 8:27:37 PM | Permalink

Why isn't it pointed out that this fellow BARNES did not become LT Governor of Texas until the year after BUSH joined the Guard!!1

IT's easly proved and collapses his story.

(2) Dan made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 8:30:24 PM | Permalink

I really don't get this. Maybe it was relevant in 2000. But it seems like a pretty lame way to attack a sitting President. This liberal dem strategy is so transparent. They trash Bush for months, call him every name in the book ... then when Republicans start to hit back (because now is the right time to do it) the dems cry victimhood and justify "retaliation", as in this and Kitty Kelly, etc.

I think this is all a dumb way to attack an encumbent and very well may backfire on the libs. The average person doesn't like having their President attacked with such pettiness. The truth is the left just seem to have anything worthy left to shoot. Just my opinion.

(3) Beldar made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 8:37:46 PM | Permalink

Andrei, you're right, but Barnes was Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives before he was Lieutenant Governor, if I recall correctly. Barnes was indeed already a big-time influence peddler — which is what eventually got him into the Sharpstown scandal that ended his career in politics. In this particular instance, he was "betting on the come" — doing an unsought favor, one that the beneficiary of wouldn't even know about unless and until Barnes chose to let him know about it. As in, "Well, George, you maybe didn't know about this, but I pulled some strings for young Dubya to help get him into TANG. Now, can't you see fit to return a little favor my way on this highway appropriations bill?" Barnes is confessing — nay, proclaiming — his corruption, and simply wants to smear others with it.

(4) OhMike made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 9:07:04 PM | Permalink

I doubt that there are any FAIR-MINDED people in Texas--or aywhere else--who don't already think Dan Rather is a scoundrel. The MSM's bias mocks fairness.

(5) Roger made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 9:19:37 PM | Permalink

I didn't tape it either, but my memory is that the note that the commander ordered young Geroge W to report for a physical was CYA. In other words, I'm writing down what I'm doing so I don't get into trouble but I don't expect the order to be obeyed (and given the glut of pilots I'm happy it wasn't). But maybe my memory is faulty. What a lame attempt to discredit the President.

(6) Kamakazi made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 10:12:28 PM | Permalink

I watched the whole thing and there was never any mention of Barnes being a Democratic operative. This was the most shameless smeer I have ever witnessed on a major network in my life. I will never believe a thing I see on 60 minutes again. Cheers

(7) Birkel made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 10:24:12 PM | Permalink

It's the same network that brought us Joe Wilson and other authors/fabricators.

So Beldar,
You expected better from CBS? You silly, silly man.


/tongue in cheek

(8) rdeat made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 12:46:08 AM | Permalink


Here is a link to The Hill's website. It gives future President Bush' complete military record. He was never AWOL and asked to join TANG on his own.


(9) jack risko made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 1:07:10 AM | Permalink

I've explored the SEC documents regarding Barnes'sleazy behavior: link. Check it out.

(10) Polaris made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 1:50:43 AM | Permalink


I think I can shed some light into this. I was an airman both on active duty and in the Air National Guard for part of my reserve commitment. Certain fields in the air force (Pilot, Aircrew, anyone with an SCI security clearence, etc) require regular physicals. This is especially true for pilots.

The first document while written in the form of an order does not include discplinary language for failure to comply. That means that this is little more than a memo to the effect of, "You must have this physical or lose your slot."

Now, if you are on active duty, failure to maintain your slot may be punishable depending on circumstance. However, even on active duty there are many reasons why a pilot may miss or even fail a routine physical....and his flight status is suspended until it is taken care of. This becomes even more common in the guard. The notice of suspension is exactly as written in the third letter. Both the order to take the flight physical and suspension from flight status are little more than form letters and have no disciplinary innuendoes at all (to the contrary of what the press would have you believe).

The memo that discussess Lt. Bush's transfer to another billet is routine. Bush's commander is obligated to warn him that failure to take the physical will cost him his flight status....and it appears he did so.

The last memo is speculation. Apparently Bush's CO didn't have enough material to rate him and stuck to that. Even then, in the Air Guard, one thing is paramount: COMMANDER DISCRETION.

In the Air Guard, it is up to the commander to discipline or not discpline based on his assessment of the service member. Since Bush wasn't disciplined (and it is not mandatory for such cases), he did nothing wrong by the letter of TANG regulations.

In short.....*YAWN*.....anyone that knows anything about the guard will tell you that there is nothing new or remarkable here. You have a middling pilot/guardsman that was perhaps a bit lazy near the end of his term, doing scut work because his slot was obsolescent (an uncontested fact), and skated his way to an early out. Not a flattering assessment....but hardly dishonourable.


(11) Diamond Dad made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 8:44:29 AM | Permalink

09092004 /WaPo (via msn.com)

if’n Mr. P’s yawn gets any bigger, the NWS will have to “officially” name it…heh, heh…
“They” are at it again…. Lead sentence

“President Bush failed to carry out a direct order from his superior in the Texas Air National Guard in May 1972 to undertake a medical examination that was necessary for him to remain a qualified pilot, according to documents made public yesterday.”

The average “nonserving” civilian’s understanding of military culture AND day to day operations are absolutely abysmal. As a child of the “Television age” myself let me see if I can draw an example of the mental pix this piece of literary “street pee” conjures up for onea you’uns….uuummmm,,yeppers….Officer and a Gentleman (surprised Kerry didn’t see and manufacture a little vignette of himself after that one)..the Lou Gossett character barking orders on the run, um…”Top Gun”…I’m sure Tom Cruise had a Cigar chompin’ CAG in his face at least once (did Kerry put a jet engine in the backa his boat after that one??),,,Jan Michael Vincent in Tribes or “Full metal jacket”……you get the point of “issuing DIRECT orders”…’kay?

My belief is that this is what those who have not had the privilege of service (in ANY capacity) generally calls to mind; and what makes me want to absolutely retch is the absolute certainty that these gutter snipes BELIEVE that kind of characterization and are trying to garner a sympathetic, “Kerry” consensus….my gawd, Hollywood AND the MSM.

I’ve got a shiny nickel to bet that says this was a ROUTINE personnel action done on a transmittal routing form—nothing more. Weren’t there, dunno for certain, but a P clerk in a line Company level organization does about 50 of em in an average “peace time” work week—nowadays we call em “admin flags”—didn’t pass the PT test?? Flag.. fat boy program (again)?? Flag ‘im—soon as you correct the “deficiency”, the flag is lifted—it DOES of course require ANOTHER piece of paper (actually, now that I think of it, two)— there’s one that maybe will stick—GLOBAL WARMING!!! He’s responsible for needless suffering of precious trees….”Maude, have you seen my squirrel suit??? I gotta protest to go organize.” Most of that crap (99.5%) gets round filed by the admin clerk right there…then and again, I probably still have my copy of the first “hand receipt” I was ever issued 30 years ago somewhere back there in a box in my basement……

And back before 1990—when being in the Guard or Reserve still “MEANT” pretty much being a “permanent bench warmer”---the FTUS personnel (full time unit support staff) spent much of their 28 days a month between drills doing not much more than such actions….shhheeeshh How low will they go????

(12) Chris made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 9:03:39 AM | Permalink

"Nor has it been established that without Barnes' unsought intercession, Dubya wouldn't have gotten into the same spot in which he ended up."

Nor need it be established to anyone with their head screwed on straight. Bush was jumped to the front of the line, plain and simple. It's a bit silly to debate that point.

(13) Polaris made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 9:50:42 AM | Permalink


Yes it is silly to debate that point. There is no evidence that Barnes' intervention if any made any difference in whether Bush got into the guard or not. End of discussion.


(14) Jim in Chicago made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 9:58:06 AM | Permalink

Well C, considering there are a number of people who dispute that Bush was jumped to the head of the queue, what is silly is to keep claiming that he was, without any evidence, besides, presumably, the word of Barnes. I mean c'mon did you just skip over the bloody DMN article from 1999 or what? Just b/c it's common knowlege or b/c Barnes or Mcawful say Bush jumped the queue doesn't make it so.

(15) BarCodeKing made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 10:28:09 AM | Permalink

CBS failed to disclose that Barnes is the VICE-CHAIR of John Kerry's campaign, that Barnes has raised $100,000 for Kerry's campaign and hundreds of thousands of dollars for other Democratic candidates over the years. Barnes disingenuously states that he's "not into the politics of gotcha" and that he's "not here to bring any harm to George Bush's reputation or his career." Which is horsesh*t. And CBS is presenting Barnes like he's somebody coming forward because of his conscience, and not telling us he's a partisan Democratic operative. Have you no shame, CBS?!

GOP.com has an article about Mr. Barnes, which notes:

"Ben Barnes Has Donated At Least $380,750 To Democratic Candidates And Campaign Bodies"

And CBS didn't have the journalistic integrity to mention this?!

It's really sickening. On the scale of sleaziness, journalists have now fallen below politicians, lawyers, used car salesman and telemarketers, and are now keeping company only with the prostitutes. The prostitutes are selling their vaginas. The journalists are selling their professional ethics and their journalistic integrity. The only difference between them is that, at the end of the day, the prostitutes still have their vaginas.

(16) BarCodeKing made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 10:31:04 AM | Permalink

P.S. With the lawyer reference in the comment above, current company excepted, of course! :-)

(17) Harold made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 10:40:42 AM | Permalink

Barnes was an ambassador in 1968, when Bush entered the TANG. In 1999, he says he was Lt. Governor when he helped BUsh. He was not in that office until 1969.

He lied.

(18) Joshua Chamberlain made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 11:00:24 AM | Permalink

Polaris, I'd love to have your take on the appearance of these memos. They are written in Times New Roman font. The last I checked, in 1972, the IBM Selectric typwriter only had Courier font. These look like they were done last week and run through a photocopier.

(19) Beldar made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 11:42:25 AM | Permalink

Re the possibility that the documents are forged, see the update above and link to Power Line.

(20) Paul Zrimsek made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 12:02:37 PM | Permalink

Courtesy of those Karl Rove puppets at awolbush.com, we can view this document, dated two days before the first CBS memo, which (if I've got my cast of characters straight) is from the same office. It's done in a normal monospaced typewriter font.

(21) M. Simon made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 12:24:32 PM | Permalink

The Documents were forged


Why did John Kerry meet with the representatives of the Viet Cong and Communist North Vietnam on his honeymoon in Paris?

I guess selling out his home country was more exciting than his new wife.

New Soldier html

What is the War Hero Afraid of?
Form 180. Release ALL the records

(22) M. Simon made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 12:29:53 PM | Permalink

Why wouldn't they accuse Bush of something more serious?

Because there would have been more records.

(23) GT made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 12:38:01 PM | Permalink

The documents were forged?

Quick, some one tell the WH that yesterday released two of those documents on its own.

Rove is going to be pissed!

(24) M. Simon made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 12:38:34 PM | Permalink

Another thing to look for is mechanical variations on documents done on different typewriters. This mechanical analysis was used to determine if a given document was made by a given machine.

(25) Beldar made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 12:42:33 PM | Permalink

Harold, you're mistaken. Barnes was indeed Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives from January 1965 through January 1969. He served as Lieutenant Governor from January 1969 for two two-year terms through January 1973.

(26) M. Simon made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 12:44:11 PM | Permalink

BTW the FBI used to have a mechanical analysis section to verify which machine produced which documents.

(27) Beldar made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 12:51:21 PM | Permalink

GT, I dunno if they were or weren't forged. Do you have a link to the documents released by the White House that you referenced?

(28) M. Simon made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 12:55:39 PM | Permalink

A linguistic examination by the FBI Laboratory compared the typewritten communiques associated with the bombings to documents known to have been authored by a prime suspect in the case. (Traditional document examination determined that the communiques and the documents were prepared on the same typewriter.)


Typewriter Standards File created.

(history of FBI Labs.


He forged a life by spotting frauds

Donald Doud of Elm Grove is a forensic document examiner whose work included preparing these exhibits of typewriter analysis for the Alger Hiss spy case.....(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 Mar 01)


I got the above by googling:

--- FBI typewriter analysis ----

(29) M. Simon made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 1:00:34 PM | Permalink

If the gloves don't fit, you have to get a new pair.

Now suppose Kerry's records don't pass tyhis test.


(30) Polaris made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 1:02:42 PM | Permalink

To my knowledge it was the Pentagon and not the Whitehouse that released the documents. Given that, some memos could easily have been forged. Memos of this sort aren't normally kept. I read the Powerline piece and it is compelling....I didn't think of it because when I was in the service (early 90s) type of that sort was routine.


(31) Polaris made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 1:03:17 PM | Permalink

When I was in the USAF, I handled extremely sensitive (SCI) material. We need to do with those memos what we would have done with a compromised SCI document in a security investigation.

Establish a chain of custody. If there is a break, we will be a long ways closer to knowing not only if the docs were forged (likely) but who forged them.


(32) GT made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 1:18:23 PM | Permalink


They released them to the media. I don't think they are posted anywhere.

I think this 'forged' story has been totally debunked by now but I'm sure people will believe what they want.

But if they are forged why doesn't somebody call the WH and let them know?

(33) M. Simon made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 1:31:37 PM | Permalink

The WH released the "new" documents as soon as it got them.

How did the "new" documents get into the system?

(34) Tpdd made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 1:35:02 PM | Permalink

According to the latest I've seen, the documents weren't released by the White House but were faxed to the White House from CBS. The White House then released what had been faxed to it by CBS. This is discussed in Powerline's Updates #5 and #6. Looks like GT is wrong again.

(35) Polaris made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 1:35:32 PM | Permalink


I fail to see how the "forged" issue has been debunked. From what I have been reading, the type of typesetting used in those letters would never be used for routine memos back in the early seventies. This could be serious.


(36) GT made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 1:37:08 PM | Permalink

So when can we expect a WH press release saying they are forgeries?

(37) Todd made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 1:41:19 PM | Permalink

For the record, I'm inclined to believe the documents weren't forged, although that's not entirely clear yet as the blogosphere is doing the MSM's job and investigating the story.

What's more interesting about the story apart from its accuracy is the extent to which it reflects mistrust of the MSM because of, among other things, the MSM's shameful attempts to assist Kerry in his Presidential campaign. Maybe I'm just following the election more closely than usual, but I cannot remember an occasion in the past when the MSM behaved in such an egregious manner. The upside of that is the further eroding of any credibility these dunderheads had remaining, however, and the empowerment of the alternative media. May it ever be so.

(38) Todd made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 1:43:28 PM | Permalink

GT, as I understand it, you want the White House to call documents its never seen before "forgeries"? How would they know?

(39) GT made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 1:48:03 PM | Permalink

You guys claim to have proven they are forgeries.

So if that's true someone should call up the WH and let them know.

I'm sure they will make it public immediately.

(40) Polaris made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 1:51:59 PM | Permalink


You have a really bad habit of putting words in other people's mouths. I suggest you stop that. What I said was that there was strong evidence that they were forged. That is not at all the same thing as saying that they were. The WH released the documents that CBS faxed to them FWIW.

All it does is reinforce my prior point. We need to demand a chain of custody for those docs. Then we'd know (or at least be a long ways closer). What is clear is that the memos can no longer be taken at face value and their paternity needs close scrutiny.


(41) GT made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 1:57:11 PM | Permalink

In either case Polaris, you should call the WH. Look what happened today:

Q Why did the President defy a direct order to get a physical in 1972?

MR. McCLELLAN: Scott, these are the same old recycled attacks that we see every time the President is up for election. It's not surprising that you see a coordinated effort by Democrats to attack the President when Senator Kerry is falling behind in the polls. And we had a very successful convention, and that's what this is about. It was well known that the President was going to work in Alabama and seeking a transfer to perform equivalent duty in a non-flying status. And that's what he was doing.

Q Did he decline to take it because he was moving to Alabama?

MR. McCLELLAN: He was transferring to a unit in Alabama to perform equivalent duty in a non-flying status. That is nothing new.

Q This was a direct order he defied, right? I mean, he did have a direct order that he defied?*

MR. McCLELLAN: John, these issues have come up every year. This was all part of the records -- that he was seeking to transfer to a unit in Alabama because he was going there to work in a civilian capacity. And he was granted permission to do so. And he was proud of his service and he was honorably discharged in October '73, after meeting his obligations.

If one of you had called McClellan he could have said they were suspect.

Too bad.

(42) Cap'n DOC made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 2:10:05 PM | Permalink

GT I'm new here, so if you would please - What the hell does your last comment have to do with anything, except to claim that WE should somehow be notifying the WH that YOUR wing has been busted?

(43) GT made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 2:11:55 PM | Permalink

It's pretty simple.

If you guys are right, and the documents are forged or suspect, then the WH will want to know about it.

So give them a call.

(44) Cap'n DOC made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 2:15:54 PM | Permalink

GT I think those folks are playin' Texas Hold'em right now...

(45) GT made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 2:16:45 PM | Permalink

Hope springs eternal...

(46) Todd made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 2:18:39 PM | Permalink

I like GT. He's a fun guy.

Almost as fun as the "furor" that has erupted over Bush's national guard service according to MSNBC. Yeah, this morning they couldn't stop talking about it in my office, to wit: "You mean some guy may have sugarcoated an evaluation of Bush while he was in the National Guard? Oh, my lord, can we start impeach proceedings?"

At least Fox News, which really needs to do a better job of being biased on behalf of conservatives (describing the Swiftees as "Republicans") mentioned "Stolen Honor."

I wonder how CBS' in-depth investigation on the winter soldier proceedings is going?

(47) Cap'n DOC made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 2:20:24 PM | Permalink

GT - FYI - The subject of forged or not forged is being dealt with rather succinctly right HERE.

Maybe this will improve your disposition, but I sorta doubt it.

(48) GT made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 2:30:02 PM | Permalink

So Cap, have you called the WH yet?

(49) Polaris made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 2:35:05 PM | Permalink


Have you called the DNC and the Kerry/Edwards campaign to distance Kerry from this as fast as he possibly can? Once this breaks into general news (and it will...bias notwithstanding it is too explosive and it has already made Drudge), it will backfire badly on Kerry if he doesn't.


(50) GT made the following comment | Sep 9, 2004 2:38:37 PM | Permalink

Well , right now none of that has happened.

But come on, what kind of Bush supporters are you?

Give the WH a call.

When do you think they will have a press release announcing the forgeries?



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