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More challenges about whether Bush documents are authentic
Dallas Morning News ^ | September 11, 2004 | Pete Slover

Posted on 09/11/2004 12:50:42 PM PDT by tdadams

AUSTIN, Texas — The man named in a disputed memo as exerting pressure to "sugarcoat" George W. Bush's military record left the Texas Air National Guard a year and a half before the memo supposedly was written, his service record shows.

An order obtained by The Dallas Morning News shows that Col. Walter "Buck" Staudt was honorably discharged March 1, 1972. CBS News reported this week that a memo in which Staudt was described as interfering with officers' negative evaluations of the future president's service was dated Aug. 18, 1973.

That added to mounting questions about the authenticity of documents that seem to suggest Bush sought special treatment as a pilot, failed to carry out a superior's order to undergo a physical exam and was suspended from flying for failing to meet Air National Guard standards.

Staudt, who lives in New Braunfels, Texas, did not return calls seeking comment. His discharge paper was among documents obtained by The Morning News from official sources during 1999 research into Bush's Guard record.

A CBS staffer stood by the story, suggesting Staudt could have continued to exert influence over Guard officials. But a former high-ranking Guard official disputed that, saying retirement would have left Staudt powerless.

Authenticity of the memo and three others included in Wednesday's "60 Minutes" report came in for heavy criticism yesterday, prompting an unusual, on-air defense of the original work. Experts on typography said the memos appeared to have been computer-drafted on equipment not available at the time.

And the widow and son of the officer who supposedly wrote them, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, who died in 1984, have said it wasn't his nature to keep detailed personal notes.

In its news broadcast yesterday, CBS said the documents were supported by both unnamed witnesses and others, including document examiners.

CBS anchor Dan Rather earlier told The Dallas Morning News that he had heard nothing to make him question the legitimacy of the memos. He attributed the backlash to partisan politics and competitive journalism.

"This story is true. The questions we raised about then-Lieutenant Bush's National Guard service are serious and legitimate," he said. "Until and unless someone shows me definitive proof that they are not, I don't see any reason to carry on a conversation with the professional rumor mill."

The Washington Post quoted Rather as saying CBS had talked to two people who worked with Killian — his superior, retired Maj. Gen. Bobby Hodges, and his administrative assistant Robert Strong — and both described the memos as consistent with what they knew of Killian. Hodges, who told CBS he was "familiar" with the documents, is an avid Bush supporter and "it took a lot for him to speak the truth," the Post quoted Rather as saying.

The Los Angeles Times, however, later quoted Hodges as saying that he believed the memos from Killian were not real. A CBS news executive confirmed that Hodges had changed his story.

Rather's interview with The Morning News concluded before the newspaper determined the date of Staudt's departure, but a CBS staffer with extensive knowledge of the story said later that the departure doesn't derail the story. "From what we've learned, Staudt remained very active after he retired," the staffer said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "He was a very bullying type, and that could have continued."

In the "60 Minutes" report, Rather said of the memo's contents: "Killian says Col. Buck Staudt, the man in charge of the Texas Air National Guard, is putting on pressure to 'sugarcoat' an evaluation of Lt. Bush."

Staudt was the person Bush initially contacted about Guard service, and he was the group commander at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston when Bush arrived there to fly an F-102 jet. He transferred later to Austin, where he served as chief of staff for the Air National Guard.

In the disputed memo, Killian supposedly wrote "(another officer) gave me a message today from group regarding Bush's (evaluation) and Staudt is pushing to sugarcoat it."

It continues: "Austin is not happy either."

The CBS staffer said the memo appears to recognize that Staudt has retired, since it differentiates between his displeasure and that of Austin, where he served his final Guard stint.

But another Texas Air National Guard official who served in that period said the memo appears to wrongly associate Staudt with his group command in Houston, and — based on that mistake — the memo distinguishes his views from that of the Austin Guard.

Retired Col. Earl Lively, director of Air National Guard operations for the state headquarters during 1972 and 1973, said Staudt "wasn't on the scene" after retirement, and that CBS' remote-bullying thesis makes no sense.

"He couldn't bully them. He wasn't in the Guard," Lively said. "He couldn't affect their promotions. Once you're gone from the Guard, you don't have any authority."

Bush has not commented publicly about the CBS report, and aides say his honorable discharge proves he fulfilled his obligations.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bushmemos; cbs; danrather; forgery; killian; nationalguard; staudt; tang
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To: billorites

That is excellent! Well done!


41 posted on 09/11/2004 1:48:14 PM PDT by meatloaf
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To: tdadams

They need to name the witnesses what do they have to be afraid of anyway?


42 posted on 09/11/2004 1:48:17 PM PDT by tiki (Win one against the Flipper)
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To: tioga
Do you think CBS can have their number one "news anchor" laughed at every time he shows his face? Bad for business.
43 posted on 09/11/2004 1:49:29 PM PDT by DB ()
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To: muir_redwoods

Remember Clinton when confronted by Morris' polling: "we'll just have to win this thing, then."

This is Rather's "Monica moment." Conceding the docs were a fraud, assuming Drudge's account that Rather single-handedly pushed this story at CBS, dooms Rather. His only chance is toughing it out ala Clinton. "I have to get back to running the country" or in Rather's case "I have to get back to running CBS into the dustbin of history."


44 posted on 09/11/2004 1:50:55 PM PDT by Starrgaizr
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To: DB

I wish I had your faith. On a side note, I just saw the first Dem shill, flat out state that these documents are not right and he is afraid his party is responsible. He did not stick with the party line, will there be a second?


45 posted on 09/11/2004 1:51:48 PM PDT by tioga
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To: Redcoat LI
Give up already!

Really! It's degenerated into a Maxwell Smart-style "Would you believe..." exchange now, with every feeble parry becoming more and more outlandish and pathetic.

46 posted on 09/11/2004 1:52:39 PM PDT by RogueIsland
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To: tdadams
The Los Angeles Times, however, later quoted Hodges as saying that he believed the memos from Killian were not real.

HODGES SAID HE WAS MISLED BY CBS

47 posted on 09/11/2004 1:52:41 PM PDT by tuesday afternoon (Everything happens for a reason. - 40 and 43)
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To: tdadams
"This story is true. The questions we raised about then-Lieutenant Bush's National Guard service are serious and legitimate," he said. "Until and unless someone shows me definitive proof that they are not, I don't see any reason to carry on a conversation with the professional rumor mill."

With this statememt Rather is stomping his feet and saying that his story is true because he said it is and that he doesn't have to provide any proof or evidence!

Actually, he and CBS are really the ones peddling rumors. They have not identified the source of the documents and one of their "sources" they relied on (Hodges) has recinded his statements. How dare he claim the right to dictate by fiat what is true and what is not and demand that others prove him wrong. Any reputable media enterprise with even rudimentary ethics would bounce him out the door after making such a statement on the public airways. The fact that CBS evidently agrees with him means that they have absolutely no credibility, a conclusion that many of us reached a long time ago.

The so called "main stream media" have become merely priviledged partisan players in an elite game of Presidential politics. They no longer serve a beneficial public purpose in my opinion; indeed, as evidenced by this example, they are an active menace to democratic self-government. Their so-called "entertainment" programs also degrade the culture and befoul the atmosphere in which we attempt to raise our children to be decent human beings and responsible citizens. Please explain to me why in the age of cable and satelite we should continue to grant broadcast licenses to these despicable excuses for "business?"

48 posted on 09/11/2004 1:56:09 PM PDT by politeia
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To: '61 Libertarian

49 posted on 09/11/2004 1:58:42 PM PDT by petercooper (All I wanted to know about Islam, I learned on 9-11-01.)
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To: billorites
This picture is so cool, it needs repeated. GREAT WORK!

Dan Rather, stubborn and still defending his poor decisions, now stands on a precipice... worrying that one of his up-and-coming collaborators will force him to take the rap for forged documents. Confused over why he is being embedded in Microsoft software, he wonders, "Should I be honored, or is someone making fun of me again?"

Hoppy


50 posted on 09/11/2004 1:59:06 PM PDT by Hop A Long Cassidy
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To: tdadams

"Staudt, who lives in New Braunfels, Texas, did not return calls seeking comment" this could be cleared up in 10 seconds with a phone call but he's not commenting?


51 posted on 09/11/2004 2:01:52 PM PDT by isom35
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Comment #52 Removed by Moderator

To: ChewedGum
ANCHOR MAY BE LEAVING TV NEWS NETWORK

9/11/04

New York, NY (5:07pm EST) - Document and media experts from Free Republic, including those who first questioned whether forged National Guard documents were broadcast on See BS, are wondering if Dan Blather will remain with his television news network.

Experts from FR have pointed to obvious flaws in memos that See BS reported as written in the 1970s by a Texas Air National Guard commander. News anchor Blather has defended his network's broadcast of the questionable Texas ANG memos, which have been subjected to intense scrutiny over their authenticity.

One FR media analyst says that arguments over what many believe are forged documents have been settled and the focus has now shifted.

"I think the question is no longer are the memos legit or not, the question is will Dan Blather still be at See BS two weeks from now," said ChewedGum.

A firestorm started by Free Republic over the suspect documents now raises questions about Dan Blather's future. He may no longer be on speaking terms with his network, See BS.

"I don't see any reason to carry on a conversation with the professional rumor mill," Blather said.

EDITORS NOTE: This report was written in Times New Roman font.

53 posted on 09/11/2004 2:30:40 PM PDT by advance_copy
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
? How so?

The "how so" is the claim that the superscript also appeared on documents from the White House at the time. That would imply that the White House and the Texas Air National Guard were using the same new technology. One might presume that the White House would have the latest and greatest, but would the Texas Air National Guard office also have it?

-PJ

54 posted on 09/11/2004 2:33:27 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (It's still not safe to vote Democrat.)
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To: tdadams
A CBS staffer stood by the story, suggesting Staudt could have continued to exert influence over Guard officials

~snip~

Rather's interview with The Morning News concluded before the newspaper determined the date of Staudt's departure, but a CBS staffer with extensive knowledge of the story said later that the departure doesn't derail the story. "From what we've learned, Staudt remained very active after he retired," the staffer said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "He was a very bullying type, and that could have continued."

~snip~

Good grief.

Now Staudt's a bully and the standard is "Well it COULD have happened that way".

Isn't there something these maligners can be charged with?

55 posted on 09/11/2004 2:34:22 PM PDT by cyncooper (We're mad as Zell and we're not going to take it anymore!)
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To: tioga

Would that be Pat Caddell? If so, he is a decent Democrat, he's been appalled at other Dem shenanigans.


56 posted on 09/11/2004 2:34:23 PM PDT by Inspectorette
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To: Redcoat LI
A CBS staffer stood by the story, suggesting Staudt could have continued to exert influenc.

This is because these smug self-satisfied military-loathing punks don't know how the military works. One you are out you are out and someone else is in charge. PERIOD. No lawful authority means no lawful authority.

57 posted on 09/11/2004 2:36:02 PM PDT by AndyJackson
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To: tdadams; All

Another question about the documents occurred to me last night (I don't know if this one has already been asked).

I am 50+ yrs. old and I do not remember the phrase "cover your a$$", and especially the abbreviation "CYA", being in common use in the early '70s. I have checked various 'lexicon' and 'phrase-and-word-origin' sites but I have come up with nothing definitive yet.

If anybody knows where to check for when the phrase "cover your a$$" and its abbreviation came into common useage in the US, it might be helpful. I don't know if it was used in the military before making it to the mainstream, but I have smelled something fishy about the title of that one memo since I first saw the copy of it posted.

Thanks.


58 posted on 09/11/2004 2:39:17 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: isom35
"Staudt, who lives in New Braunfels, Texas, did not return calls seeking comment" this could be cleared up in 10 seconds with a phone call but he's not commenting?

It's already "cleared up". Staudt retired in '72, the faked memo is from '73.

59 posted on 09/11/2004 2:44:03 PM PDT by cyncooper (We're mad as Zell and we're not going to take it anymore!)
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To: isom35

Whoops--faked memo not "from" '73---it was dated 1973.


60 posted on 09/11/2004 2:44:32 PM PDT by cyncooper (We're mad as Zell and we're not going to take it anymore!)
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