T Nation

OUCH! Rather Looked Pretty Weak...


Oh well...

Dan Rather had the 86 year old former secretary of George Bush's former Air National Guard Commander on "60 Minutes" tonight...

It was pretty weak...

Look...what new "revelations" were there going to be? Children of Power and Previlege have always been able to avoid War (if that was their desire)...so all of this National Guard Stuff is no big surprise...

But when the Secretary said she never typed these memos...BUT the "essence" of the memos was correct...I just don't think Dan helped himself. He came off like a guy still angry that George Bush Sr. embarrassed him on National TV a few years ago...

What do you think, guys?



Nice destruction of the latest CBS position here:



BTW, Rather looked pathetic.

The reasoning appears to be along the lines of "It's OK to make up evidence for a story because the story is true even though the main evidence is the made-up memos." I mean, would CBR really have run with the story without the memos, with only poor old Ben Barnes and his ever-changing story and status as the #3 individual donor to the Kerry campaign in the state of Texas as back-up?

Yeah, Mustafa, it seems Dan Rather still holds a grudge against Poppa Bush, and thought to serve some cold revenge -- seems to have bitten Mr. Rather in the ass though. If journalists were doctors, you can bet these would be sued for malpractice (and deserve it too). Hmmm -- maybe they could find something useful for John Edwards to do after all...


Oh yeah -- one more thing. Seeing as how these are obviously forgeries, CBS should name the source immediately, if not sooner. Why the hell would you protect someone who fed you forged documents?


BB...you reminded me...

There is a Memorial on the Boston Commons of a Child of Previlege who volunteerd for War...Robert Gould Shaw of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, immortalized in the movie "Glory..."

Just an aside...



Well if Robert Novak wants to name his source for outing an undercover CIA agent (a crime) then CBS should follow suit.

Dan Rather looked rather uncomfortable and defensive, with one arm folded rather stiffly across his chest.

I'm not sure if this AWOL-documents issue is going to do anything with voters, other than break down along party lines, and it is too convoluted for swing voters to follow. After all, swing voters aren't even sure what the big differences between Kerry and Bush are. I doubt they will be able to sort through the story and all draw the same conclusion, for either party.


I could only stomach about 5 minutes of the interview. I'm ashamed that Rather calls himself a Texan.

So the letters are forged - we all know that regardless of their authenticity, the message is true.

What a load of crap!!

What's the difference between a Texan for Truth and a true Texan?

A True Taxan only has B.S. on the outside of his boots.


Rather did look uncomfortable...

He promised to "keep researching"... and if there is evidence to support Bush, they would certainly report that...


At this point, I would think that they would want this to all just go away...



George Bush did not want to go to Viet Nam, he had a way out and he took it. Everyone was aware of this in 2000. To further pound this story with new revelations (which turn out to be false) did nothing to harm Bush's reelection chances. I don't think they did anything to hurt Kerry either.

Hey.....I think I agree with Lumpy. (just fell off my chair)


Doesn't Rather know that the coverup is always worse than the crime?

He should come clean with the source - Rather, whether you like him or not - has a distinct national reputation. I find it amazing that a journalist of his stature in the mainstream media is willing to fall on his sword for whoever duped him. Or, perhaps he wasn't duped, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and blame it on his producers.

But he should still shine a light into the dark place that fed him these ridiculous documents.

As for its impact on the election - little, unless upon analysis it turns out the Kerry campaign or the DNC has its fingerprints on them.

Rainjack - loved the zinger.


All From: http://www2.swiftvets.com/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=4

Kerry Spot [ jim geraghty reporting ]
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Drudge reports that the Washington Post is set to report tomorrow that "Documents allegedly written by deceased officer that raised questions about Bush's service with Texas National Guard bore markings showing they had been faxed to CBS News from a Kinko's copy shop in Abilene, Texas... "

Now, get a load of this:

The New York Times, February 12, 2004 Move to Screen Bush File in 90's Is Reported
by Ralph Blumenthal

HOUSTON ? A retired lieutenant colonel in the Texas National Guard complained to a member of the Texas Senate in 1998 that aides to Gov. George W. Bush improperly screened Mr. Bush's National Guard files in a search for information that could embarrass the governor in future elections.

The retired officer, Bill Burkett, said in the letter to Senator Gonzalo Barrientos, a Democrat from Austin, that Dan Bartlett, then a senior aide to Governor Bush and now White House communications director, and Gen. Daniel James, then the head of the Texas National Guard, reviewed the file to "make sure nothing will embarrass the governor during his re-election campaign."

A copy of the letter was provided to The New York Times by a lawyer for Mr. Burkett to support statements he makes in a book to be published this month, which Mr. Burkett repeated in interviews this week, that Mr. Bush's aides ordered Guard officials to remove damaging information from Mr. Bush's military personnel files.

Mr. Bartlett denied on Wednesday that any records were altered. General James, since named head of the Air National Guard by President Bush, also denied Mr. Burkett's account. But Mr. Bartlett and another former official in Mr. Bush's administration in Texas, Joe Allbaugh, acknowledged speaking to National Guard officials about the files as Mr. Bush was preparing to seek re-election as governor.

Mr. Burkett's letter to Senator Barrientos was part of a running battle that he waged with the National Guard after retiring in January 1998. In it, Mr. Burkett complained of "severe retaliation" from General James for what he said was reporting "illegal acts" within the National Guard. He also complained about the government's failure to pay for his medical care after suffering from a tropical disease after a military assignment to Panama in 1997. Before finally winning medical benefits in July 1998, he said, he suffered a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized for depression.

A spokesman for Senator Barrientos, Ray Perez, said on Wednesday that "Mr. Burkett did correspond with this office." Senator Barrientos said he was trying to find the six-year-old records of contacts with Mr. Burkett. Another Texas legislator contacted at the time by Mr. Burkett, Representative Bob Hunter, Republican of Abilene, said Mr. Burkett had appeared before his committee overseeing military affairs and had complained of mishandling of his medical claims but did not mention Mr. Bush's files. He called Mr. Burkett "disgruntled."

In telephone interviews this week from his home near Abilene, Mr. Burkett, 55, a systems analyst with 27 years in the National Guard including service as deputy commandant of the New Mexico Military Academy, said he happened to be in General James' office at Camp Mabry in Austin in mid-1997 and overheard Mr. Allbaugh on a speakerphone telling General James that Mr. Bartlett and Karen P. Hughes, another aide to Governor Bush, would be coming to the Guard offices to review Mr. Bush's military files.

Ms. Hughes, who left the White House in 2002, did not return a call.

Mr. James said though a spokesman that "that discussion never happened" and that he would "never condone falsification of any record." Mr. Allbaugh called the account "pure hogwash," but said he talked to General James about making Mr. Bush's records available to reporters.

"We spoke about a lot of things," Mr. Allbaugh said. "I'm sure we had a conversation with General James where all the records were kept because it was an issue in 1994 and 1998 and would be in 2000. We wanted to make sure we could refer people of your profession where to go."

Mr. Burkett further said that about 10 days later he and another officer walked into the Camp Mabry military museum and saw the head of the museum, Gen. John Scribner, going through Mr. Bush's personnel records. Mr. Burkett said he saw a trash basket with discarded papers bearing Mr. Bush's name. Mr. Burkett said the papers appeared to be "retirement point certificates, pay documents, that sort of thing."

General Scribner dismissed the account. "It never happened as far as I know," he said. "Why would I be going into records?"

Mr. Burkett is quoted at length in a book to come out by the end of the month, "Bush's War for Re-election" by James Moore, a former Texas television reporter and co-author of "Bush's Brain."

And, we know James "Jim" Moore was the man who appeared in Rather's report Friday night, contending without evidence that the memos are real.

Is it 100 percent certain that CBS's source was Burkett? Nope.

Getting close, though.

[Posted 09/15 10:32 PM]
Guess where Bill Burkett lives? Near Abilene.


Thanks to Salon.com's article 2/14/04


Marion Carr Knox, the secretary to Col. Jerry Killian, President Bush's National Guard commander, this evening, during her interview with Dan Rather:

"And there are words in there that belong in the Army, not to the Air Guard. We never used those terms."
From the Veterans for Peace web site:

Lt. Col. Bill Burkett completed 28 years of decorated service and was medically retired from the US Army National Guard in 1998.
UPDATE: I must have the best readers in the world. Kerry Spot reader Roger points out another unusual similarity.

One phrase that struck me on reading the CYA memo that "Killian" wrote referred to him "having trouble running interference and doing my job". "Run interference" struck me as an unusual turn of phrase. So, I google "run interference" and "Burkett" and get two hits: He's used "run interference" in an interview with Kevin Drum (where someone ran interference for him), and described another officer as running interference for Bush, Rove, Albaugh etc. It seems to be a verbal tic with him and it's interesting that it shows up in a memo that "Killian" wrote.
This isn't proof, but it is odd that this particular phrase would show up like this. By the way, note that Rather and Mapes say they spent five years working on this story, and the blogosphere is picking this apart like piranha on a cow within a matter of hours.


How can I yell any louder to make this connection...

Pictures of Burkett's Attorney with...Not kidding, Carville, Clinton, Dean, etc. The link is established....


NYT names Burkett as well...





Mufasa --

It's a pretty nice memorial, but if its the one I'm picturing its a memorial to the whole regiment from Glory, correct? It's a nice memorial, right up at the northwest corner of the common, across the street from the capitol building.


The Bush's have really had some fun with poor old Dan. I wish I had a tape of the time George Sr punked him out, that interview showed how he could be head of the CIA for so long. And now this, someone suckered Dan into blowing his credibility. I've had a good laugh over it. It's almost as funny as Batmans assault on buckingham palace.



Yes...it's a Memorial to the whole regiment...

So much was known about the Regiment, it's day-to-day life, battles and struggles because of the Letters that Shaw wrote home to his mother...they are now in the Harvard University Archives...

Those of you who have not seen "Glory" should watch it...



No doubt that Rather is a VERY credible journalist and has proven himself over and over...

However...if this is a "Bush Vendetta"...it really is making him look bad...



Heh, this is pretty good -- and pretty old (circa 1984):



More humor:



BB, very funny stuff!


Awesome! Very funny.


I love Bloom County - It triggered a college flashback...thanks.