Skip to comments.60 Minutes Documents on Bush Might Be Fake
Posted on 09/09/2004 11:44:01 AM PDT by Peach
Thursday, September 09, 2004 2:41 PM EST
By Melanie Hunter CNSNews.com Deputy Managing Editor September 09, 2004 02:34 pm
'60 Minutes' Documents on Bush Might Be Fake
(CNSNews.com) - The 32-year-old documents produced Wednesday by the CBS News program "60 Minutes," shedding a negative light on President Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard, may have been forged using a current word processing program, according to typography experts. Three independent typography experts told CNSNews.com they were suspicious of the documents from 1972 and 1973 because they were typed using a proportional font, not common at that time, and they used a superscript font feature found in today's Microsoft Word program. More to Come
I thought about the secretarial signature aspect, but I don't think that's the answer for a couple of reasons. First, when that happens, the secretaries initials are supposed to appear next to the signature to indicate a proxy. And I don't know if that practice would have been used in the military for such a document. Secondly, the rest of the signature looks similar enough to make me wonder if someone was trying to forge it. The odds of someone's secretary having a signature (which they'd have no need to disguise) so similar are pretty astronomical, I'd say.
On military documents, it is possible for someone else to sign in the commanders place. However, the alternate signee must sign his or her own name and handwrite the word 'For' to the left of the commander's signature block. They are not authorized to sign the commanders name themselves, but must use their own, I say again. So there is no way that the signatures on the suspect documents are Lt Col Killian's. Nowadays the military uses inkstamps to 'sign' documents when the CO isn't available (or his/her hand is just plain wore out).
Secretaries often signed for bosses. Which would explain the non-military language, high-end typewriter, AND signature.
But I may be slowly being convinced that this might be for real. Another thread quotes a document expert that if this is Times New Roman, no typwriter had that font. It's apparently only a wordprocessor font.
IBM announces the Electromatic Model 04 electric typewriter, featuring the revolutionary concept of proportional spacing. By assigning varied rather than uniform spacing to different sized characters, the Type 4 recreated the appearance of a printed page, an effect that was further enhanced by a typewriter ribbon innovation that produced clearer, sharper words on the page. The proportional spacing feature became a staple of the IBM Executive series typewriters.
On the Executive, you could optionally have removable type-bars. This is somewhat like later Smith-Corona portables which have removable type-slugs on the two outermost type-bars, with corresponding changeable keytop caps. In this case, though, it's the whole type-bar.
Thanks for that information.
Not uncommon among officers, BTW, nor is the scorn heaped upon the part-timers by the full-timers. Just a fact of life in the military, especially the Guard and Reserves.
They also didn't mention the secret deals that they were giving to Haliburton.
And when did the IBM typewriter become capable of the SuperScript Feature as is shown in document #1 as 111th?
Pretty amazing that the margins are a perfect match for the Word default, and that the author of this memo hit their carriage return in the exact same places that Word automatically wraps text. Also, Times New Roman was not a font used by the Selectric or the Executive, according to the folks that run the Selectric Museum. I call BS.
Oh please Lord, let this be true. Nothing could be finer!
The key to this mystery is to find the "handwriting expert" they used. I'm NO expert, but the signatures weren't even CLOSE let alone a "match". As for the modern fonts, maybe they were using Windows '70. That's reasonable, isn't it?
I hear Fidel has offered to give him sanctuary.
I have just glanced at the suspect documents and don't have any firm opinions yet, but let me tell you some things you'll want to look for to determine if they're forgeries.
Most correpsondence in the 1970s was prepared using IBM Selectrics (not the model you have shown) outfitted with either a 10 pitch Pica ball or a 12 pitch Elite ball. These documents might have been prepared using a 12 pitch Elite ball, but the type seems too proportional and large to me.
There were NO superscript characters on a Selectric ball. You simply typed the lower-case letters following the number. Air Force and Air Guard abbreviation practice followed the mandates of AFR 10-1 and were different from those used by the Army. For example, lieutenant colonel was "Lt Col" (space between the two, no periods) not "Lt. Colonel" or "LTC." Similarly, it was "1st Lt" not "1LT." Now, some clerks were sloppy and used non-standard abbrevitions, but most 702Xs were careful to do it right (and, BTW, no lieutenent colonel typed his own letters and memos).
The first page of the original copy of most official correspondence was invariably prepared on preprinted letterhead. Until the 1980s the official seal appeared in the upper-right hand corner of the page. None of these documents is shown on official letterhead meaning they are at best file copies. Ordinarily one would find a copy distribution list at the bottom of the page indicating where each copy went.
Copies were prepared on yellow and white carbon sets and had a distinct smudgy indistinct hard-to-read (especially after two copies) carbon look and feel to them. The suspect documents seem a bit too distinct to me to be carbon copies.
The paper used for official correspondence in the 1970s was smaller than 8 1/2 x 11. I can't remember the exact dimensions but they were something like 8 x 10. You could expect standard one inch margins on this format.
Typing-errors were ubiquitous. A well-typed page might have as few as two or three errors, but rarely none. No one--and I mean not even the most obsessive compulsive anal retentive admin clerk--bothered to retype a letter that had mistakes. Every admin clerk used white-out by the gallon and correction tape by the mile. Corrections were especially noticeable on carbon copies. There should be a standard four-line spacing between the final line of text and the signature block. I will have to doublecheck on this, but I seem to recall that the signature block was supposed to be flush with the left margin.
More Kerry Spot:
YET ANOTHER EXPERT, MORE ARGUMENTS AGAINST [09/09 03:48 PM]
Kerry Spot reader Bruce Webster who has as served as an expert witness in U.S. District Court cases regarding computer document forensics, writes in that the CBS News document "has all sorts of problems... The typefaces weren't available on typewriters in 1973."
The typefaces listed and linked below, by the way, do not have curly quotes, only "straight" ones. Oddly, you'll notice the CBS documents, like the Kerry Spot, have both, sometimes in the same document. (On the Kerry Spot, this is a result of transferring text from a word processing program into web-publishing program Moveable Type. (A link using curly quotes won't link correctly, which means every link has to be checked to make sure it has the right kind of quotes.)
CBS had better have one heck of a defense for this.
6- The memo uses the same outline feature that micorsoft word uses for points 1. and points 2. For someone to have typed it in 73 the same way microsoft word formats is amazing.
That said, the documents do look suspicious. What we need is more information about the source of the documents. Where are the originals? It makes little sense for these copies to exist, but not the originals. If the originals can be located, they can be dated. A forgery would require 30-year-old paper and 30-year-old ink.
At the very least, we need CBS to provide exact details of how these documents were passed along through the years, if they expect us to believe them.
Hey dudette! Ya done real good. Whatta story! Thanks. :O)
I am looking for "replacement" type-bars for the IBM Executive model typewriters. At least one poster here has expressed a clear recollection of a "superscript st" being on the keyboard. The typewriter is designed to take replacement characters to suit the office it is being used in, but I haven't seen a catalog of optional parts.
The Selectric doesn't do porportional spacing. There is a "Selectric-Composer" that does, but it is not likely to be used in a regular office.
There were NO superscript characters on a Selectric ball. You simply typed the lower-case letters following the number.
I don't disagree with that. The general conclusion that some are jumping to is that teh proportional spacing and "superscript st" are CONCLUSIVE proof that the document could not have been prepared on a typewriter in the early 1970's. I think other evidence is required.
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