Skip to comments.Typewriter Expert can't duplicate Guard memos using IBM Composer
Posted on 09/11/2004 7:39:33 AM PDT by handy
When I first heard back from Gerry, I felt a little bad for having bothered him. He'd been fielding calls and letters all day, he told me, including an inquiry from CNN. But he was a trouper, willing enthusiastic even to help out.
I asked Gerry, in a fit of hubris, if he wouldn't mind trying to reproduce a sample from one of the CBS memos on his Selectric Composer. Just over an hour later, he emailed me back a sample, typed up on his Composer using the 11-point Press Roman type ball and scanned into his computer.
At first glance, the sample Gerry provided looks pretty darned close. The type is proportionally spaced, just like the type in the CBS memos. Gerry was also able to reproduce the now-infamous superscripted "th," though he had a disclaimer about that.
The most obvious discrepancy was that the line-spacing what typographers call leading (rhymes with "shredding") was off. I e-mailed Gerry about this, and he replied: "Yes, if I had really tried, I could have matched the spacing (leading). The leading on the composer can be finely adjusted. Don't know if it is down to the single point level, but it probably is since you can set the leading according to the font, and the leading dial goes from something like 6pt up to 14pt."
and pretty darned close to the original. But not close enough.
(Excerpt) Read more at shapeofdays.typepad.com ...
I have a question. Knowing how anal retentive the government is about records and record keeping, wouldn't the GAO or the USAF procurement office have the records as to what exactly was used by the office staff of that era?
I mean somebody had to order the equipment and typewriters to stock the facility.
The DUers were calling for someone to grab any old typewriter and go on CBS News and demonstrate typing up the letter. They thought they could have it settled in five minutes.
I agree, I'd love to see CBS trot out an 'expert' to type up this simple memo and compare it on live tv.
It's impossible to type these memos on a typewriter. 30 minutes scanning the blogs proves it.
Check this link out that support the lead link in this thread.
You can however match the memos exacly using Microsoft word. This is so blatant!!!
It's just insane.
The left, from DUers, to Juan Williams, to Rather himself, have all been crying, "Stop worrying whether the memo is fake or not, look at what it says!"
That's just insane. Completely insane. I don't know how else to put it.
Not only can you match the memo, you don't have to play with the Word settings. Just start Word using the default settings, type the memo (double-space after each sentence) and "poof" the memo matches exactly.
"The memos are clumsy forgeries" - Occam
Plus, a Selectric Composer is not exactly a "typewriter." Today, it would be like claiming you wrote a memo on a purpose-built page composition system costing a minimum of $40,000. Highly improbably from the get-go, and now proved impossible.
> The DUers were calling for someone to grab any old
> typewriter and go on CBS News and demonstrate typing
> up the letter.
When the SBVFT issue arose, some of them were also
suggesting that Kerry just sign an SF-180 and clear
it all up.
The naive get re-educated, or accused of being FR
trolls and then banned.
In any case, the site exposes the true soul of
progressive liberalism. Sort of a political chamber
of horrors. A necessary museum.
Are they really? (I'm TV-news-feeding-frenzy-limited...)
That is freakin' hilarious. I mean really...that is so funny!
I think the work that the person did, lays it to rest. I don't think there is any doubt that those memos could not have possibly been produced in 1972-73. But apart from that consider this:
CBS Famous Dan Rather, for years the Gold Standard of TV journalism produces:
1. Memos from an un-named source.
2. That are written by a person who is deceased.
3. Which are photocopies and not originals.
Let's stop right here. Do we have to be like the people of WHOVILLE and shout at the top of our lungs? But people
SOMETHING IS REALLY WRONG HERE!!!
Yup, that's the tact the left is taking. Basically their response on TV has been "even if the memos are fakes, what they say is true."
Here's mabelkitty's list of problems with the memos. It may be longer today. ;-)
Here's the running, breathng, unedited document. I'm trying to keep up, but I haven't been able to edit the whole thing yet:
Some have already been clarified, but here are the running discrepancies:
1-- proportional spacing not generally available
2 -- superscripts not generally available
3 - small "th" single element not generally available (not common, but available. Highly unlikely the machines were available at TANG)
4 - Smart quotes. Curved apostrophes and quotation marks were not available
5-The blurriness of the copy indicates it was recopied dozens of times, tactic of forgers
6--Signature block. Typical authentic military signature block has name, then rank, then on the next line the person's position. This just has rank beneath the name.
7--Margins. These look like a computer's unjustified default, not the way a person typing would have done it.
8 -- Date usually with three letters, or in form as 110471.
9 - words run over consistent with word processor
10 - Times Roman has been available since 1931, but only in linotype printshops...until released with Apple MacIntosh in 1984 and Windows 3.1 in 1991.
11 - signature looks faked
12 - no errors and whiteout
13 - no letterhead
14 - exact match for Microsoft Word Processor
15 - Paper size problem, Air Force and Guard did not use 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper until the 1980s.
16 - Overlap analysis is an exact match
17 - absence of hyphens to split words between lines, c/w 1970's typewriter.
18 - 5000 Longmont #8 in Houston Tx. does not exist (actually does exist, but Mr. Bush had already moved TWICE from this address at the time the memo was written).
19 - Box 34567 is suspicious, at best. The current use of the po box 34567 is Ashland Chemical Company, A Division of Ashland Oil, Incorporated P. O. Box 34567 Houston (this has been confirmed by the Pentagon, per James Rosen on Fox News-However, many documents on John Kerrys website show same)
20 - it would have been nearly impossible to center a letterhead with proportional spacing without a computer.
21 - Bush's grade would "normally" be abbreviated "1Lt" not "1st Lt"
22 - Subject matter bizarre
23 - Air Force did not use street addresses for their offices, rather HQ AFLC/CC, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433.
24 - kerning was not available
25 - In the August 18, 1973 memo, Jerry Killian purportedly writes: "Staudt has obviously pressured Hodges more about Bush. I'm having trouble running interference and doing my job." but General Staudt, who thought very highly of Lt. Bush, retired in 1972.
26 - Language not generally used by military
27 - Not signed or initialed
28 - Not in any format that a military person would use, e.g. orders not given by Memo.
29 Is the document original or a copy of an original? Why all the background noise such as black marks and a series of repeated dots (as if run through a Xerox).(Rather explained his document was a photocopy-brings up additional questions of how redacted black address was visible from a several generation copy)
31-The Killiam family rejected these documents as forgeries. Then where did the personal files come from if not the family?
32-Why no three hole punches evident at the top of the page?
33-Mr. Bush would have had automatic physical scheduled for his Birthday in July! He would not have received correspondence.
34-Why is the redacted address of Longmont #8 visible beneath the black mark? This would have been impossible after one copy, but it would be visible if the document was scanned.
35-Why were these exact same documents available for sale on the Internet y Marty Heldt, of leftist web site Tom Paine, as early as January 2004? Is this where CBS obtained their copies?
36-Acronym should be ORT, not ORET.
37- Last line of document 4 "Austin will not be pleased with this" is not in the same font and has been added!
38-Handwriting experts are not document experts apples and oranges.
39 - Lt Col Killian didn't type
40-The forged documents had no initials from a clerk
41-There was no CC list (needed for orders)
42-Subject line in memos was normally CAPITALIZED in the military
43-The forged documents used incorrect terminology ("physical examination" instead of "medical")
44-There was no "reciept confirmation box" (required for orders)
45-The superscript "th" in the forged documents was raised half-way above the typed line (consistent with MS Word, but inconsistent with military typewriters which kept everything in-line to avoid writing outside the pre-printed boxes of standard forms)
46-CBS admits that it does *not* have the originals, but only original documents can be proven to be real; copies can *never* be authenticated positively...repeat: only original documents can be proven real. CBS never had the originals, so CBS knew that it was publishing something that couldn't be assured of authenticity.
Dan Rather's stand
By Wolf Blitzer
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- This is not the first time Dan Rather has found himself in a serious dispute with a U.S. president.
There was this exchange in 1974 during the height of the Watergate scandal with then-President Richard Nixon:
Nixon: Are you running for something?
Rather: No sir, are you?
And there was this exchange with then-Vice President George Bush in 1988 over the Iran-Contra scandal.
Rather: I don't want to be argumentative, Mr. vice president.
Bush: You do, Dan.
Rather: No -- no, sir, I don't.
Bush: This is not a great night, because I want to talk about why I want to be president, why those 41 percent of the people are supporting me. And I don't think it's fair to judge my whole career by a rehash of Iran. How would you like it if I judged your career by those seven minutes when you walked off the set in New York?
Now, the 72-year-old CBS News anchor finds himself in yet another confrontation with a Republican president.
"I want to emphasize: I stand by my president. We are in a time of war, and I stand behind my president. There is not joy in reporting such a story, but my job as a journalist is not to be afraid, and when we come with facts, and legitimate questions supported by witnesses and documents that we believe to be authentic, to raise those questions no matter how unpleasant they are," Rather said Friday.
At issue is his report on "60 Minutes" that aired Wednesday -- a report that included documents purporting to show that the current President Bush, while serving in the Texas Air National Guard, did not meet all his military obligations.
"They [the White House] have not answered the question of did or did the president not obey or obey an order? Was he or was he not suspended for failure to meet performance standards of the Air Force? If he didn't take the physical, why didn't he take the physical?" Rather said.
But now, there are questions about the authenticity of the documents released by "60 Minutes."
The Washington Post says the "60 Minutes" documents are not consistent with other documents released by Bush's Air National Guard unit in the early '70's.
"If you compare the documents that CBS produced with the documents that we know to be authentic, that did come from Bush's National Guard unit, none of those documents use proportionate spacing. And that's only one of the anomalies," says the Post's Michael Dobbs.
Experts contacted by CNN say there are some inconsistencies in the type style and formatting -- noting those styles then existed on typewriters but were not common. They also say only a review of the original documents -- not copies -- can completely resolve the matter.
Beyond that, surviving relatives of Bush's then commander, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, the author of the purported documents, insist they are fake. They say Killian always believed Bush was an excellent pilot and that he never wrote these documents. Killian died in 1984.
"The story is true. The story is true," Rather said. "The questions raised in the story are serious and legitimate questions."
Rather denies there is any internal CBS News investigation under way -- a statement backed by the network.
Rather also said the possibility of issuing any kind of recant or apology was "not even discussed. Nor should it be."
My understanding is that when the Military orders something... ANYTHING... it is ordered in bulk, it is the cheapest item that will perform the essential functions of the job, and it is purchased at the best price they can get.
That being said the odds that a $3000 typewriter is going to be purchased for common use at a National Guard Reserve base in Houston Texas is beyond unbelievable.
These typewriters were designed to make documents look "professional." Since when did the military ever concern itself about the asthetic value of anything, much less a "memo to file."
I say the burden is on CBS to produce other military documents from Col. Killian's office that were produced on this same machine.
I won't hold my breath.
You make a good point......this from so-called professional journalists who look down their nose at Drudge and web-bloggers for not meeting "basic journalistic standards", blah-blah-blah.
I know, it's funny. They are actually saying don't look at the man behind the curtain. It's really so sad.
They are basically saying that the content of the memos proves that they are not fake.
I expect little in the way of logic from the left. I don't expect much at all. But, this is crazy. I can't do anything but shake my head in disbelief at this line of 'reasoning'.
47 - Terry McAuliffe has admitted that the documents are fake (blaming Bush).
Not to mention that someone who didn't "type" was going to take the time to learn this complicated piece of equipment. Take the time to reset font sizes and line spacing, etc so his memo would look "perfect?"
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