Skip to comments.WAS SAD MAX THE PART OF THE PHONY DOCUMENTS SCAM?
Posted on 09/20/2004 7:41:52 AM PDT by NotchJohnson
WAS SAD MAX THE PART OF THE PHONY DOCUMENTS SCAM?
How long has it been now? Two weeks? Two weeks ---- and Dan Rather is still stonewalling. Even though CBS seems to be ready to admit that it was duped, Rather is holding fast. He still has not admitted that those documents he so proudly flourished on 60 Minutes II the week before last were fakes. Forgeries. Phonies.
This past weekend CBS came up with a rather unusual twist. It was yet another glorious explanation of just why Dan Rather used those documents ... and how he was so terribly, absolutely, completely right to do so. See if you can follow this. Before the ill-fated 60 Minutes II show was aired some CBS reporters showed the documents to the White House and asked for comments. Since the White House didn't charge that the documents were forgeries at that time that must mean that they were real. So, you see, it was all the fault of the White House.
This morning we have the New York Times saying that CBS is preparing an announcement .. possibly for today ... that they were duped; that they had been deceived as to the origin of the documents. Unidentified CBS officials told Times reporters that the report was too flawed to go on the air. This turn-around was apparently prompted by the results of a weekend interview of retired National Guard Lt. Col Bill Burkett by Dan Rather and a CBS executive. Burkett is the man identified as the possible source of the CBS documents.
So .. now CBS is the victim? After two weeks of drinking their own Kool-Aid...insisting that the documents were accurate, and trotting out experts who supported their claims, suddenly CBS is the victim here? CBS wasn't duped - their viewers were. The documents were obvious forgeries, and CBS ignored the warnings from their own experts that they didn't look authentic. In other words, they're acting like they accepted a $100 bill drawn with a green crayon and were deceived. We're going to buy that, aren't we?
The story out today says that Rather still believes that what is in the documents is accurate. Sorry, but there's no logical way to arrive at that conclusion. The man who didn't write the memos died 20 years ago. His surviving kin (son and wife) say there's no way he wrote them. Yet we're supposed to believe Dan Rather and CBS News that the memos might be fake, but hey the contents are accurate! So why would they think that?
Because they want to believe it. Such is their pent-up Bush-bashing hatred that they are willing to broadcast a false story based on forged documents to advance a political cause. Dan Rather wanted revenge...and he smelled blood. This was going to be his big story to go out on....the news story that brought down a sitting president and led to his re-election defeat. Instead, their carefully constructed fantasy collapsed - and with it what was left of a major media institution's integrity. In the end, Rather didn't take down George W. Bush, he took down CBS News and his career.
The mystery has been just why Rather has seemed almost afraid to step forward and admit that the documents are forgeries! At this point virtually everyone else in the media -- and that includes the DC and NYC press corps -- knows the documents are fakes, his CBS bosses are about to capitulate, yet Rather is still using his "the documents may be fake, but they're correct" escape valve?
Dan Rather is perhaps the most partisan of the major broadcast network news anchors. His hatred of all things Bush approaches the pathological. I would submit to you that Dan Rather's burning desire to see John Kerry elected this fall has clouded his news judgment. He was all-too-eager to jump on a story that he thought could wound or possibly cripple Bush. I don't think for a moment that Rather would intentionally present documents he knew to be forged to his audience, even if he thought those documents would help his chosen candidate. Rather's eagerness to hurt George Bush caused him to stumble blindly into the forged documents scandal.
Stand by, folks. This story just might get far more interesting. CBS can't be allowed to get by with a "we were duped" admission. If they admit that the documents were forged, then the documents, who forged them, and how they got to CBS become the story. There should be no pretense at protecting sources. You don't protect sources who feed you bogus documents. To maintain even a sliver of journalistic integrity CBS will have to divulge just where those documents came from.
Divulging the source of those documents would be no problem to Dan Rather if that source was operating independently of the Democratic Party or of the Kerry Campaign. That appeared to be the case last week when Burkett was identified as a probable source. Burkett was known to hold a grudge against George Bush for some perceived wrongs during Burkett's service in the Guard. In some of his writings Burkett had compared Bush to Hitler. So, if Burkett supplied the documents, then we can expect to see CBS finger him sooner rather than later.
But what if CBS didn't get those documents from Burkett? What if there was an intermediary? What if there was a intermediary who commanded enough respect in the CBS newsroom that the authenticity of the documents was merely assumed? After all, if Burkett had been the source of those documents, don't you suppose that the CBS producers might do just a bit of research on Burkett before they used them? Wouldn't that research reveal the "Hitler" remark and other troubling aspects of Burkett's past? Would Rather use documents provided by a relative unknown with a demonstrable grudge without some fairly heavy duty vetting? So ... again; maybe the documents didn't come from Burkett, at least not directly.
Enter the man not named in this morning's New York Times story. Enter Max Cleland.
This weekend we learned that Bill Burkett developed an itchy keyboard finger a few weeks ago and decided to do a bit of bragging to his Texas Democrat friends. On August 21st Burkett wrote an email to a group of Texas Democrats saying that he had passed some information to a former senator who was out there working for John Kerry. Burkett said that he initiated a contact with the Kerry campaign that resulted in him getting a phone call from Max Cleland. Cleland, as you probably know, is the obsessively bitter Vietnam War veteran who lost his first race for reelection to the U.S. Senate representing Georgia. The Georgia voters resented the manner in which Cleland became a lap dog to Tom Daschle and his choice to work to strengthen government employee unions at the expense of a strong Department of Homeland Security. In his email message Burkett said that he gave Max Cleland information that could be used to mount a counterattack against the critics of Kerry's service in Vietnam.
Information? What information? Isn't it perfectly logical to believe that the information that Burkett is talking about is, in fact, the forged documents used by Dan Rather?
Here is where we see a possible reason for Rather's stonewalling.
Is it possible that Max Cleland is actually the source of those documents? Possible, yes. Proven, no. Could Burkett have passed the documents to Cleland who then made them available to CBS News? I'm just saying it's possible, folks. But this scenario would explain why Rather had circled the wagons. Max Cleland is part of the Kerry campaign team. It was Max Cleland that John Kerry sent to the gates of the Bush Ranch in Crawford, Texas for a publicity stunt. Kerry is Cleland's instrument of revenge against the Republican Party that deprived him of his seat in the U.S. Senate, and the Kerry Campaign knows all-to-well how to take advantage of an eager dupe. If ... and I'm saying IF ... the source of the documents was Cleland, then the Kerry Campaign is directly implemented in the scandal. Turn out the lights.
Let me add that I hope that the scenario I put forward here is completely false. I've known Max Cleland for years. I love the man, truly .. though I doubt that he would throw a glass of water on me if I caught fire. I and many other Georgians watched in total despair as he sold his very soul to Tom Daschle and the Democratic Party. Cleland would have been Georgia's Senator for Life if he had simply put the interests of the country and his state above the interests of his party and government employee unions. Some of us hope that one day the kind, gregarious and gentle man that was Max Cleland will come home.
If CBS does, in fact, admit that the documents were fakes, and that the vaunted CBS news team was tricked, we can't let the story end there. It can't end with an apology for airing the memos, a statement that the content of the memos are still believed to be accurate, and a producer thrown to the wolves. If CBS continues to cover up where the documents came from ... the entire chain of possession ... then we'll know that the bigger story hasn't yet seen the light of day.
The argument that the documents are "bogus but valid" holds just about as much water as alleging that a counterfeit 100 dollar bill may be fake, but still good enough to buy a steak dinner for two.
If CBS continues to cover up where the documents came from ... the entire chain of possession ... then we'll know that the bigger story hasn't yet seen the light of day.
Very well said.
The Rather interview of Burkitt was designed to take the heat off of Dan by implying he was out of the loop until now. Won't work since Rather was in the loop enough to insult critics of the documents and stand arrogantly firm in his assertions for mor ehtan a week. So I will not wash that he now talk to Bukitt and has begun to have doubts.
One way or the oither damn was lying about the documents when he knew they were a farce or he was lying about the quality of ther work and the extent of validation he and his staff do at CBS.
Dan promises to break the story...
Which impossible-to-prove scenario is more likely: that the memos are not forgeries, or that Max Cleland is the source?
(hey, It's almost 10:00 am CDT, who wants to play grenade toss?)
I'm sorry, that was mean spirited :-(
I want to run something up the flagpole here. Just suppose for purposes of speculation that those phony documents were deliberately left for Burkett to find in that NG office. I've never understood why someone so flaky as him would be allowed in there with such sensitive documents. Knowing that Burkett was an unstable flake it would follow that at some point he couldn't restrain himself and would release these phony documents. Whoever, took the bait and CBS, anxious to torpedo Bush, went with the story. The WH was ready for this story by issuing a non-denial, that since CBS was a "credible news network" they wouldn't take issue with the documents. This was the "proof" that CBS had to run with the story.
Either way, it is hard to see how Rove could go wrong with phony documents since the news organizations could never establish the veracity of them. If they weren't published, no harm. If they were published, more the better. This would eat up a lot of campaign time and Kerry is damaged by his association to the MSM.
Am I nuts?
Rather and CBS made very much of the unimpeachable character of the source of these documents.
Now, that doesn't sound like they were describing Burkitt, does it? CBS simply wouldn't have known enough about the man to give him that kind of blanket endorsement.
Burkett may have been the forger, but it strains credulity to take him as the immediate source.
I disagree. Dan is a commie, and has even said himself he has no problem with the idea that a lying person is an honest person.
Oh, no!! Did Max get blind, stinking drunk and do something really stupid again?
It would have taken a lot of foresight to have planted those documents there, what, seven or eight years ago, as bait in a scheme to come to fruition only now. I'm not biting.
Let's apply Occam's Razor- the simplest explanation is probably right. Burkett was bitter and vindictive, and he made the documents up to help Kerry, maybe even basing them on scuttlebut and rumor he heard floating aroung the TANG back in 1973. This seems the simplest explanation, and it's all I need.
Hasn't Burkett long been a thorn in Bush's side? I'm still trying to understand why he was left alone with those documents. I've never understood that.
you and everyone who suspect Rove or other Republicans are nuts - the forgeries were so bad, that I wouldn't have expected even my High School paper to ave beleived them. Who would have believed CBS could have been so stupid?
CBS wasn't duped -- their viewers were.
Possibly Burkett shopped his information to all and was rebutted because there was no proof. He then, after discussing with Mapes, finds "proof". He then faxes or presents to Mapes who faxes to CBS, the DNC or Max and they run with the "proof".
Coming from Mapes, CBS ignores the skeptics and goes with it. Yet - I still think Rather is involved in the whole thing and that it is tied in as part of a planned onslaught with the DNC "Fortunate Son".
How long does it take to make an ad like "Fortunate Son"?
They tie in to each other too conveniently not to have been coordinated. So, if it took them 3 wks., we then know that 3 wks. ago these plans were in the works.
Someone forged the documents. Will Burkett admit to that? Cleland? That would put them in jail for certain.
I was under the impression that Burkett was grinding this ax for Bush since about 1992.
I think that a good politician wants to know who his enemies are. What do they say? Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer?
Burkett would be the perfect vehicle for a strategic thinker to use to bring down an opponent in a close race. Think about WWII and the phony documents and corpse that washed up on the shore in Europe. And remember also what Churchill said. "The Truth must be protected by a bodyguard of lies."
Rather would call his daughter an unimpeachable source and as her father would find it hard to out her as the source. makes ya kinda go hmmmmmmmm
Rather's blathering that though the documents were phony what they said was true defies all logic. If CBS is to have any credibility they need to fire Rather and clean house in its news bureau. The pathetic attempt to say we were unknowing victims of a hoax is a joke given the obvious forgery of the memos.
I do. For far too long, the media has cultivated an image of itself as being somehow above all the human failings to which the rest of us are subject. Sorry, won't wash. Reporters and commentators all up and down the media food chain and that most definitely includes famous network anchors are just as capable as anyone else is of being just plain crooked and dishonest.
If this scandal does nothing else, I hope it at last bursts the bubble of fantasy that's surrounded the media for far, far too long. A fantasy that says, if it's in print or on TV news, it must be true. A fantasy that says there is always a real, live human being behind the media's anonymous sources, instead of a completely made up quote or story from no one. A fantasy that says big media is always purely objective and working for the public good. A fantasy that says the media has no agenda of its own. Hah!!!
Ah, excellent analogy. I get a crayon counterfeit bill, and pass it on. When they arrest me, I cry, "I wasn't the originator. I only passed on what I thought was a legit bill." That'll certainly pass straight-face muster in a court of law, right?
Here is the logic that dems would have us accept:
Every intelligence agency in the world said Saddam had WMD's.
George Bush acted on the intel and invaded Iraq.
No WMD's have been found.
Therefore, George Bush lied!
Every qualified expert said that the National Guard documents were forgeries.
Rather used the documents anyway.
Now, CBS is admitting that they were forgeries.
Therefore, Rather was duped!
"The answer is YES. As I understand it, any documents that Burkett claims to have seen at a NG office was like 7 or 8 years ago. Are you suggesting that Karl Rove started a plan 3 or 4 years before Bush was even elected to take down CBS in 2004?"
Well, when did Rove first meet Bush? When did he first know that Bush was likely to run for higher office? If I were a political "mastermind" I would want to find everything possible that could be used against my candidate. I would do private investigations and uncover every rock that was out there. If there was the slightest question that this NG story would come back to haunt his candidate, why not begin planning early how best to knock it down?
I've never put any stock in the NG story as something that should be held against Bush. But knowing the liberal press as I think I do, they will do anything and everything to put the worst possible face on a conservative candidate. Look at what they do with the Iraq war. When's the last time they gave a positive report on Iraq? When's the last time they looked to the long term view of the war on terror? Knowing them as I think we do, perhaps the choice was made to head them off at the pass; to ambush them with a story that would knock the other campaign off stride so that it cannot recover.
I didn't post this with the intention of denigrating Karl Rove, but I've been trying to figure this story out from the get-go and all the pieces of the puzzle didn't quite fit yet.
Now if Burkett admits that he made up the documents, this speculation is obviously wrong. He might say that he concocted the forged documents based on written notes he made from the original documents found in that office. That's another possibility. I'll be interested in the statement from CBS. That might clear up everything.
What I want to know is: WHO is going to go to Federal Prison for this or is it just going to GO AWAY?????
The green crayon drawing of a $100 bill has inspired a new tag line. See if you can guess where it came from.
CBSNEWS LAUNCHES INTERNAL INVESTIGATION AFTER SUSPICIOUS BUSH DOCS AIRED (drudge Siren)
Posted by savedbygrace to Jewels1091
On News/Activism 09/09/2004 11:46:30 PM CDT · 635 of 816
I've been rethinking this thing and I've changed my mind a bit. I've been saying this afternoon and evening that CBS will refuse to out the source.
Now I'm thinking they have no real alternative. If they don't, imaginations will run rampant that their source is connected to Team Kerry. This would hand the election to Bush-Cheney.
But what if the source IS connected to Team Kerry. Then the pressure will be on CBS to refuse to turn over. But if they won't give him up, then rumors will multiply and Kerry will lose.
Yep, it looks bad for Kerry-Edwards. How ironic is this? It's nowhere near Purim, but we have a real-life example of the Purim story right here in River City.
Post Reply | Private Reply | To 67 | View Replies
I think the RAthER interview of Burkett was designed to draw attention away from former Senator Cleland, whose name came up repeatedly over the weekend in TV news. CBS would prefer to depict itself as a dupe than reveal Dan as a willing accomplice in an attempt to skew an election with fradulent documents.
(That qualifies as "Quote of the Day".)
The question is how far up the DNC heirarchy did they go?
"Modified Limited Hangout"
How on God's green earth would anyone in the White House be capable of IDing the PERSONAL documents of the President's superior at the TANG? Did CBS think that copies of those personal documents somehow made their way to Bush's Pentagon file (and that CBS & the rest of the world had somehow glanced past them)? What was CBS thinking? Did Rather or Mapes expect Dan Bartlett to verify Killian's signature, WHAT? Those documents were shown to the White House staff for no reason other than to make Bush sweat, so Rather could luxuriate in contemplation of tearing off his pound of flesh and then dicing it.
CBS expecting the White House to research this smear is beyond clueless and arrogant.
By the way, when did Dan Rather get a face-lift? Since I've never watched the program until recently, I noticed Dan has the the tell-tale horizontal eye pull when he was ambushed by Fox News reporter.
Indeed. But who WOULD have been an unimpeachable source? Surely, Cleland is no more unimpeachable than Burkett. Cleland didn't serve in the TANG. Where would HE get the documents, and wouldn't an ethical news organization checked HIS source? No, the answer is "it depends on what the meaning of 'unimpeachable' is." Strictly in the greedy, vengeance-lidded eye of the recipient.
I care less about who sent them than who TYPED them.
Rove was at the RNC when Bush Sr was RNC Chairman--'73--and may well have known the family before then.
Much as I believe Rove has the talent, I don't believe he'd flirt with anything as potentially dangerous as this--even if he'd been careful enough to avoid breaking the law in any way.
Why is it so hard to accept that the new folks at Kerry and/or the DNC are MORE than capable of perpetrating a crime? They've got a TRAITOR leading them. What crime's heavier?
That's the $64 million dollar question. This story still has legs.
"Rove was at the RNC when Bush Sr was RNC Chairman--'73--and may well have known the family before then.
Much as I believe Rove has the talent, I don't believe he'd flirt with anything as potentially dangerous as this--even if he'd been careful enough to avoid breaking the law in any way.
Why is it so hard to accept that the new folks at Kerry and/or the DNC are MORE than capable of perpetrating a crime? They've got a TRAITOR leading them. What crime's heavier?"
Try to think outside the box. If I was running someone for president I would want to know everything potentially dangerous about his past. If I had a loose cannon like Burkett floating around, what better way to undermine these NG allegations than have a national news organization implode with a phony story like this. It is the ultimate preemptive attack on the opposition.
Having said this, I don't know what the story is. However, what I do know is that when we know who did the forgeries, we will know the rest of the story. If we don't know who did the forgeries, then we are left with speculation. So my theory is just as valid as the next persons and can't be ruled out of hand.
Is Rove a master chess player? Certainly Rather and the DNC are not.
BTW, I'm not sure why this is so dangerous. A forged document can't be damaging if it is unmasked as soon as this one was. In fact, by all accounts, it redounded to Bush's benefit.
Did someone in the DNC do this? I don't know. If so, then obviously Kerry is finished. Whichever way it plays out, Bush is better off after the story broke than before it broke.
Dangerous only politically. Dangerous because it tends to support the Bush's Brain theory.
Otherwise--I think you're right. Bush IS better off; better than that, WE are better off.
Hunter Thompson once said that Nixon's idea of a good joke was a paraplegic who couldn't reach high enough to vote Democratic. But Max Cleland just made himself the joke and ensured many folks wont be reaching for that demo-lever on 11/2. The post-op on this will be fascinating. Its going to look a lot like an old Fugitive rerun. Who was that one armed man?
Surely, no one connected with the Kerry campaign or the DNC could be consideres an unimpeachable source, either.
Frankly, I tend to the view that there never was a source that was really reliable, only Rather's fevered desire to hurth Bush, come what may.
Got that Kerry "I voted for the forgery" montage handy?