I’ll tell you what’s at stake here for CBS because, as I said, the whole notion that CBS is oriented toward giving you the truth is up in flames now because they’re not interested in the truth. They got so turned on by the fact that elements of this story that had been sought for so many years all of a sudden just showed up and they were so eager. I mean, they do have a pro Kerry agenda, there’s no question. Look at 60 Minutes and all four episodes devoted to anti-Bush this spring. I mean, there’s no question they’re in the tank. They may not think people see, they may not think people know it, but it’s a fact in the minds of more and more people. But if CBS really wanted to end this, all they have to do is ask their source, whoever, to provide the originals of these documents to an independent expert for evaluation or panel of independent experts. In that way we would know if these documents actually exist in original form or whether or not they’re forgeries, and CBS is not willing to do that because they don’t know where they got them. CBS producer inside CBS saying (paraphrasing) “Only two people in our building say we got these from the Kerry campaign via another source.”
So if you don’t have people who actually know where this stuff is sourced, where it came from, from where it originated, then you really don’t have much of a story. So here’s what we know so far. The paper, the paper in these documents is the wrong size. The signature of Jerry Killian on these documents is in doubt. The type font, very unusual for that time, the dates are in doubt, and even the address is said to be wrong. They used a post office box address on these documents, and one of the Post Office Box, 34567. You know, somebody’s playing a game here I think on somebody and I don’t know who. But the word hoax just gets bigger and bigger. Also the key person that we’re aware of who CBS called for verification who worked at The Guard, this is Mr. Hodges, said he never saw the document, it was read to him over the phone. And when he saw the document on television, he backed out and this is not true. Bobby Hodges, I’m sorry, they lost Bobby Hodges, who is one of their key sources for this. Now, an individual that several news outlets working this story were looking at, was a guy named Bill Burkett. Burkett is a former Texas National Guard officer. Burkett in the past has cooperated with both press and Democratic Party opposition researchers in slinging mud at President Bush. So he’s got an agenda.
American Spectator: “Burkett gained some national attention earlier in the campaign when he claimed he was at National Guard headquarters in Austin 1997, when he overheard Guard officials and a representative of then Governor Bush discuss how to sanitize Bush’s files. That story was fully discredited. Nonetheless, Burkett sat down for at least three different interviews with CBS News for the story now at the center of the controversy. One of those interviews was with Rather’s producer, Ms. Mapes. ‘There are rumors here…'” this is CBS News reporter speaking with anonymity, but on the record to the American Spectator. “There are rumors here that if there are any real documents they are handwritten notes from Killian that someone like Burkett was holding and that instead of using the handwritten note, somebody typed ’em up to look more official. They’d look better on TV and posted online if they were typed ,but on a number of levels that story just don’t hold up. There are too many inconsistencies factually with what’s in the memos.”
I’m speechless. This is a CBS producer speaking on the record saying well, you know, they might have been, Burkett, who has been fully discredited as a source, he might have overheard Killian and took notes and they decided it would be better to type these things up and make ’em look real. All this, by the way, while CBS does not conduct an investigation, they say.
“The most glaring issues now are the seemingly phony P.O. Box addresses used in the headers of at least one of the memorandums. Such post office box addresses were not used by the National Guard at that time.” Let alone with a Post Office Box number of 34567 as in the memo. “Yet another issue, (This is also key) the 18-month gap between the retirement of Col. Walter “Buck” Staudt on March 1, 1972, and August 18, 1973, when the Killian of the disputed memos claimed that Staudt was putting pressure on him to sugarcoat an evaluation of Bush. Almost everyone involved in the National Guard in Texas says Staudt would have had virtually no influence in the active units nearly a year and a half after leaving the service.”
In other words, there’s an 18-month gap. This Staudt , Colonel Staudt retired March 1st, 1972. It wasn’t until August 18th, ’73, when the Killian memo surfaced claiming that Staudt said this and said that and people are saying Staudt wouldn’t have had any input in the 18 months after he retired. And yet he was there. “Perhaps the most troubling to the CBS News staff looking into how its story went off the rails is the timing of the memos’ appearance.” Here’s the same CBS News producer speaking on the record to the American Spectator. “Some 60 Minutes staffers have been working on this story for more than three years off and on… There have been rumors about these memos and what was in them for at least that long. No one had been able to find anything. Not a single piece of paper. But we know that a lot of people here interviewed a lot of people in Texas and elsewhere and asked very explicit questions about the existence of these memos. Then all of a sudden they show up? In one nice, neat package? People were asking questions of sources like, “Have you ever seen or heard of a memo that suspended Bush for failing to appear for a physical?” and “Have you heard about or know of someone who has any documentation from back in the 1970s that shows there was pressure to get Bush into the National Guard?'” These are the questions CBS reporters are out there asking, has anybody seen, heard, or knows about, and all of a sudden those very questions get answered with these memos?
It’s almost like CBS was ordering from a menu at a drive-through restaurant and somebody on the other side of the glass handed them a sack and said here’s what you want. I mean, people were asking questions like that. CBS new producer: “It was like they were placing an order for a ready-made product. That is the biggest problem I have with this. It’s all too neat and perfect for what we needed. Without these exact pieces of paper, we don’t have a story. Dan has as much as admitted that. Everyone knows it. We were at a standstill on this story until these memos showed up.” And all of a sudden all hell breaks loose.
So there is countless questions still to be asked. CBS probably internally asking them. Their whole posture here is to defend this and go no further. I think this is an awful weekend for CBS News. A glorious weekend for the new media, for those who care about truth and high standards in journalism. Because in light of all the new evidence, and there’s a lot of it, there’s no real dispute now about the fact that these documents are forgeries because nobody will produce originals, folks. Best we can say are photocopies and you can find all sorts of problems with the photocopies. This story has become a bonfire and don’t think just because you’re not seeing it in the mainstream press don’t think that this is not burning out there, the blogosphere and the new media are following this and are gonna get to the bottom of it. The mainstream press is going to have to understand at some point they are not a monopoly anymore and they can’t get away with this. The whole notion of truth is up for grabs here. CBS has now admitted with the way they’re handling the aftermath. They are not interested in the truth. When are they going to figure this out? If we to find a recent parallel to this, you could go to the New York Times, the forged documents equal Jayson Blair, Dan Rather is Howell Raines. You want an analogy? That is what this is.
RUSH: You know, when this document forgery story plays itself out, and it will, it is going to leave CBS News — it has the potential of leaving CBS News in a smoldering wreckage. I mean, there’s so much to say about this. One thing that struck me over the weekend is that the CBS reaction to the story is at least as injurious as the original story. Rather’s treatment of this on Friday night compounded the damage. I told you, they’ve become what they hate. They are covering up something rather than trying to get to the bottom of it, exactly what Nixon — how many times have you heard the cover-up is worse than the crime? And they are illustrating this. But again, just to nail this down, what this illustrates to me in vivid terms is that CBS is not interested in the truth when it comes to this story. And if they’re not interested in the truth in this story, then is it not reasonable to question their pursuit of the truth in other stories? Because that’s acid, folks, that is acid for a news organization. If people believe the game is rigged then everything else collapses and I think this is what people have believed for a long time about the mainstream press, that the game is rigged. To use a common phrase from the political world, the cover-up here is the — I mean, I keep saying this over and over, but the fact that the cover-up is turning out to be worse than whatever the crime was, they’re acting like the Clinton White House in the aftermath of the Lewinsky story, they’re acting like Nixon during Watergate. As I say, if you want an analogy to this, compare this to the New York Times. CBS is the New York Times, the forged documents are Jayson Blair and Dan Rather is Howell Raines.
Oh, and get this. I just got an e-mail from a friend who is a journalist. I’ll just admit it, I have a friend who’s a journalist out there. He said, “Rush, see Democrats.com.” It’s a website. It’s an “independent group” that includes Clinton pollster Stan Greenberg on their board. And Greenberg just went to work for Kerry, part of the Clinton cabal that went over there, but yet this is an independent group, Democrats.com. This group, you probably heard about this over the weekend, trying to trump up a phony story that George W. Bush wore an Air Force medal he was not entitled to wear, did you hear that? That’s Greenberg’s bunch doing that, that’s Kerry’s team doing that. And the Democrat Underground website had a supposedly document where Bush claimed he served in the Air Force as well as the National Guard. So they’re out there trying to say that Bush lied. All they can do in defending John Kerry is to try to concoct a bunch of fake stories that says Bush did the same thing, Bush did the same, Bush was worse, he deserted, Bush’s daddy got him in, blah, blah, that’s the best they can do.
So now we know that this Democrat.com group with Stan Greenberg on the board is out there shopping this phony story about Bush wearing an Air Force medal he was not entitled to wear. Now we’ve got forged documents showing up at CBS. We have a CBS producer inside talking to the American Spectator says, yeah, a couple people here said they got all this from the Kerry campaign. You wait, folks, this is all going to come out in the wash.
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