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CBS Regrets Bush Memos Story
CBSNews.com ^ | 9-20-04 | Unknown

Posted on 09/20/2004 9:34:42 AM PDT by SmithPatterson

CBS Regrets Bush Memos Story

NEW YORK, Sept. 20, 2004

(CBS/AP) CBS News on Monday said it regretted broadcasting a story about President Bush's military service based on documents whose authenticity is in doubt, saying the source of the material had misled the network.

CBS News Anchor Dan Rather, the reporter of the original story, apologized.

In a statement, CBS said former Texas Guard official Bill Burkett "has acknowledged that he provided the now-disputed documents" and "admits that he deliberately misled the CBS News producer working on the report, giving her a false account of the documents' origins to protect a promise of confidentiality to the actual source."

The network did not say the memoranda — purportedly written by one of Mr. Bush's National Guard commanders — were forgeries. But the network did say it could not authenticate the documents and that it should not have reported them.

"Based on what we now know, CBS News cannot prove that the documents are authentic, which is the only acceptable journalistic standard to justify using them in the report," said the statement by CBS News President Andrew Heyward. "We should not have used them. That was a mistake, which we deeply regret."

"Nothing is more important to us than our credibility and keeping faith with the millions of people who count on us for fair, accurate, reliable, and independent reporting," Heyward continued. "We will continue to work tirelessly to be worthy of that trust."

Additional reporting on the documents will air on Monday's CBS Evening News, including the interview of Burkett by Rather. CBS News pledged "an independent review of the process by which the report was prepared and broadcast to help determine what actions need to be taken."

In a separate statement, Rather said that "after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically."

"I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers," he said.

"We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry," Rather added.

The authenticity of the documents — four memoranda attributed to Guard commander Lt. Col. Jerry Killian — has been under fire since they were described in a Sept. 8 broadcast of 60 Minutes.

CBS had not previously revealed who provided the documents or how they were obtained.

Burkett has previously alleged that in 1997 he witnessed allies of then-Gov. Bush discussing the destruction of Guard files that might embarrass Mr. Bush, who was considering a run for the presidency. Bush aides have denied the charge.

In the statement, CBS said: "Burkett originally said he obtained the documents from another former Guardsman. Now he says he got them from a different source whose connection to the documents and identity CBS News has been unable to verify to this point."

Questions about the president's National Guard service have lingered for years. Some critics question how Mr. Bush got into the Guard when there were waiting lists of young men hoping to join it to escape the draft and possible service in Vietnam.

In the Sept. 8 60 Minutes report, former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes — a Democrat — claimed that, at the behest of a friend of the Bush family, he pulled strings to get young George W. Bush into the Guard.

Other questions concern why Mr. Bush missed a physical in 1972, and why there are scant records of any service by Mr. Bush during the latter part of 1972, a period during which he transferred to an Alabama guard unit so he could work on a campaign there.

The CBS documents suggested that Mr. Bush had disobeyed a direct order to attend the physical, and that there were other lapses in his performance. One memo also indicated that powerful allies of the Bush family were pressuring the guard to "sugar coat" any investigation of Lt. Bush's service.

Skeptics immediately seized on the typing in the memos, which included a superscripted "th" not found on all 1970s-era typewriters. As the controversy raged, CBS broadcast interviews with experts who said that some typewriters from that period could have produced the markings in question.

Other critics saw factual errors in the documents, stylistic differences with other writing by Killian and incorrect military lingo.

Some relatives of Col. Killian disputed that the memos were real. His former secretary said the sentiments regarding Mr. Bush's failures as an officer were genuine, but the documents were not.

Some document experts whom CBS consulted for the story told newspapers they had raised doubts before the broadcast and were ignored. CBS disputed their accounts, pointing to the main document expert the network consulted, Marcel Matley.

Matley insisted he had vouched for the authenticity of the signatures on the memos, but had not determined whether the documents themselves were genuine.

Last week, CBS News stood by its reporting while vowing to continue working the story. The network acknowledged there were questions about the documents and pledged to try to answer them.

Mr. Bush maintains that he did not get special treatment in getting into the Guard, and that he fulfilled all duties. He was honorably discharged.

On Saturday, a White House official said Mr. Bush has reviewed the disputed documents that purport to show he refused orders to take a physical examination in 1972, and did not recall having seen them previously.

In his first public comment on the documents controversy, the president told The Union Leader of Manchester, N.H., "There are a lot of questions about the documents, and they need to be answered."

The Bush campaign has alleged that their Democratic rivals were somehow involved in the story. John Kerry's campaign denies it. In an email revealed last week, Burkett said he had contacted the Kerry campaign but received no response.

Meanwhile, a federal judge has ordered the Pentagon to find and make public by next week any unreleased files about Mr. Bush's Vietnam-era Air National Guard service to resolve a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Associated Press.

The White House and Defense Department have on several occasions claimed that they had released all the documents only to make additional records available later on.

©MMIV, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cbs; cbsnews; forgery; killian; rather; rathergate; stainedbluememo
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1 posted on 09/20/2004 9:34:42 AM PDT by SmithPatterson
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To: SmithPatterson
Additional reporting on the documents will air on Monday's CBS Evening News, including the interview of Burkett by Rather.

So why should we believe anything that comes from CBS from here on out?

2 posted on 09/20/2004 9:36:08 AM PDT by dfwgator (It's sad that the news media treats Michael Jackson better than our military.)
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To: SmithPatterson

3 posted on 09/20/2004 9:36:18 AM PDT by Jenya (I'm a newbie here, but not to life. Don't even think of imposing your seniority on me.)
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To: dfwgator

What did Rather know and when did he know it?


4 posted on 09/20/2004 9:36:43 AM PDT by Ben Chad
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To: 1Mike; 3catsanadog; ~Vor~; ~Kim4VRWC's~; A CA Guy; A Citizen Reporter; abner; Aeronaut; AFPhys; ...

This is the complete statement (I think)!!!


5 posted on 09/20/2004 9:36:53 AM PDT by Howlin (What's the Font Spacing, Kenneth?)
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To: SmithPatterson

They regret the memos were bad forgeries. Next time they'll be better forgeries and will be harder to debunk.


6 posted on 09/20/2004 9:37:14 AM PDT by Paleo Conservative (What did Dan Rather know, and when did he know it?)
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To: SmithPatterson

They regret attempting to harm President Bush with a fraudulent story or they regret getting exposed as partisan hacks by a bunch of amateurs in their pajamas?


7 posted on 09/20/2004 9:37:25 AM PDT by VisualizeSmallerGovernment (Question Liberal Authority)
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To: SmithPatterson
"We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry,"

I think that Dan burned his last bridge with real world reporting a long time ago and it is only NOW obvious to everyone.
8 posted on 09/20/2004 9:37:32 AM PDT by SMARTY ('Stay together, pay the soldiers, forget everything else." Lucius Septimus Severus, to his sons)
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To: SmithPatterson

Wow, class act.


9 posted on 09/20/2004 9:37:46 AM PDT by Hans
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To: SmithPatterson

I "regret" this story as well.


10 posted on 09/20/2004 9:38:16 AM PDT by Thrusher (The timing of this post is suspicious.)
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To: VisualizeSmallerGovernment

CBS said that Burkett misled them.

Har.


11 posted on 09/20/2004 9:38:26 AM PDT by Howlin (What's the Font Spacing, Kenneth?)
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To: SmithPatterson

They're only sorry that they got caught.


12 posted on 09/20/2004 9:38:27 AM PDT by kevkrom (My handle is "kevkrom", and I approved this post.)
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To: Jenya

So does this mean Burkett confessed to making the forgeries or just handing them over???

In a statement, CBS said former Texas Guard official Bill Burkett "has acknowledged that he provided the now-disputed documents" and "admits that he deliberately misled the CBS News producer working on the report, giving her a false account of the documents' origins to protect a promise of confidentiality to the actual source."


13 posted on 09/20/2004 9:38:35 AM PDT by plushaye (President Bush - Four more years! Thanks Swifties.)
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To: SmithPatterson

This is not enough. They did some damage to the President's reputation. There needs to be some form of compensation. Saying, "I'm sorry" don't get it done.


14 posted on 09/20/2004 9:38:46 AM PDT by Sola Veritas (Trying to speak truth - not always with the best grammar or spelling)
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To: Howlin

Gosh, so many choices...

Did he just define "is", or is he saying that there really is no controlling legal authority?

Dan Rather is so full of cBS that he can't tell the truth from a lie.

I hope they make him a CBS Exec. They deserve each other.


15 posted on 09/20/2004 9:38:54 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: Ben Chad
The question is, what did Kerry know and when did he know it.
16 posted on 09/20/2004 9:38:57 AM PDT by hawaiian
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To: dfwgator

It looks like CBS would still like to say that the Documents are genuine since they are only saying that the source mislead them about where he got them. This is S-BS.


17 posted on 09/20/2004 9:39:03 AM PDT by prometheus
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To: Paleo Conservative

Forget the memos, next time just find some people who are willing to lie about what they saw, heard and know. Then you don't have pesky people questioning how memos were created with Microsoft Word in 1972. Trouble is, CBS will find people to source who are 32 years old.


18 posted on 09/20/2004 9:39:07 AM PDT by SittinYonder (Tancredo and I wanna know what you believe)
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To: kevkrom

Yeppers.


19 posted on 09/20/2004 9:39:09 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: SmithPatterson

Yeah, burkett supplied them alright, but not to cbs. He gave them to gomer cleland, his contact inside the kerry camp.They gave them to cbs.


20 posted on 09/20/2004 9:39:31 AM PDT by weezel
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To: SmithPatterson

CBS is the Eye of Sauron and Dan Rather is the mouth.

21 posted on 09/20/2004 9:40:08 AM PDT by Samwise (Kerry's convoluted speaking style correlates with his convoluted thought processes.)
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To: hawaiian
Very good question. The old adage "with the judgment you use..." is in effect here. The same judgment that Kerry passed on Bush saying Bush was behind the SwiftVets will be true here; Kerry is behind MemoGate.
22 posted on 09/20/2004 9:40:47 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: SmithPatterson
Time to arrest Bill Berkette on forgery of federal documents, wire fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy.

He's such a loon he'll squeal on everyone he most likely $0ld the story to at the DNC and the Kerry Campaign.

For the sake of future party purity for the democrats, they should insist on cooperating in the prosecution of anyone involved in this. It could be the cleansing of the soul of democrats.

Somehow I think they will avoid the window of opportunity............

23 posted on 09/20/2004 9:40:49 AM PDT by blackdog (Proudly wearing Free Republic pajamas, just to piss off Dan Rather.)
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To: Paleo Conservative

"Next time they'll be better forgeries and will be harder to debunk."

Not only that, this piece is careful to indlude ALL the allegations made about Bush's NG service in the NOW ADMITTED FORGED DOCUMENTS!!


24 posted on 09/20/2004 9:40:52 AM PDT by AMDG&BVMH (Proudly served in the National Guard)
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To: SmithPatterson

direct link to statement

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/09/06/politics/main641481.shtml


25 posted on 09/20/2004 9:40:52 AM PDT by GeorgiaYankee (This document has NOT been authenitcated by SeeBS News, so it could be TRUE!)
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To: Howlin; Poohbah; veronica

Gee, sounded a lot like SPIN to me...


26 posted on 09/20/2004 9:41:03 AM PDT by hchutch (I only eat dolphin-safe veal.)
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To: SmithPatterson
Too little, too late.

CBS News cannot prove that the documents are authentic, which is the only acceptable journalistic standard to justify using them in the report,"

27 posted on 09/20/2004 9:41:12 AM PDT by GOPJ
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To: Howlin
I know our President has tried to stay out of this fray, but I'm glad he finally commented. Notice how his statement covers three points - "...he did not get special treatment in getting into the Guard, and that he fulfilled all duties. He was honorably discharged." I suspect the SEAL hunter, Nash, may be on to something with respect to Kerry's less than honorable discharge.
28 posted on 09/20/2004 9:41:16 AM PDT by Quilla
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To: SmithPatterson
CBS has yet to apologize to the victim,GWB. CBS is nothing more than the left-wing of the Democrat Party. They got caught with their finger in the cookie jar.
29 posted on 09/20/2004 9:41:21 AM PDT by KenmcG414
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To: Howlin
This is the complete statement (I think)!!!

Shouldn't someone be fired? That would make it complete. Thanks for the ping.

30 posted on 09/20/2004 9:41:36 AM PDT by Lady Jag (Googolplex Star Thinker of the Seventh Galaxy of Light and Ingenuity)
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To: VisualizeSmallerGovernment
They regret attempting...a bunch of amateurs in their pajamas?

...the latter, 'fer sure. :))

31 posted on 09/20/2004 9:41:36 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you :)
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To: Howlin

I think this story has legs. LOL


32 posted on 09/20/2004 9:41:38 AM PDT by Petronski (What did Max Cleland know and when did he know it?)
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To: weezel

So is that what Cleland really went to Texas for? Did he meet with Burkett during his time there a few weeks ago?


33 posted on 09/20/2004 9:41:49 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: Jenya

FactCheck.org, the favorite "truth site" for the Bush haters, has *no mention of this admitted fraud.* They are still checking this story out [sure!]. Time for freepers to light up the e-mail of the Editor-in-Cohoots, Brooks Jackson [former CNN] with your outrage:

<Editor@FactCheck.org


34 posted on 09/20/2004 9:41:52 AM PDT by CreviceTool
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To: SmithPatterson
In a statement, CBS said former Texas Guard official Bill Burkett "has acknowledged that he provided the now-disputed documents" and "admits that he deliberately misled the CBS News producer working on the report, giving her a false account of the documents' origins to protect a promise of confidentiality to the actual source."

Sounds like another CYA memo to me.

35 posted on 09/20/2004 9:41:54 AM PDT by HoustonTech (Remember 9/11. Vote for Strength. Vote for Bush.)
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To: kevkrom

"They're only sorry they got caught." You got that right.


36 posted on 09/20/2004 9:41:55 AM PDT by Ironclad (O Tempora! O Mores!)
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To: SmithPatterson
"I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers," he said.

So basically it's how one source came into possession of the bogus documents..not the fact that the bogus documents were in fact bogus. SSDD Danno.

37 posted on 09/20/2004 9:41:56 AM PDT by Neets (Conservative women LOVE BURLEY MEN, not GIRLIE DEMS.!)
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To: SmithPatterson

The only thing CBS regrets is getting caught, like rigging the explosives on fuel tanks to show how they could explode in a collision. They have not, and will not, change their reporting techniques, with or without Dan Rather. I am sure, however, that they'll be careful in the presentation of the frauds they perpetrate in the future.


38 posted on 09/20/2004 9:42:02 AM PDT by Spok
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To: Howlin

Jeff Greenfield says the"guys in the pajamas" look a lot better than the pros at CBS n this instance....Motive (of CBS) going on with the story will be questioned.


39 posted on 09/20/2004 9:42:03 AM PDT by MEG33 (John Kerry has been AWOL on issues of national security for two decades)
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To: SmithPatterson
"We will continue to work tirelessly to be worthy of that trust."

Too late for that now.

40 posted on 09/20/2004 9:42:12 AM PDT by Guard Dog (Who fears the wrath of a coward?)
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To: Howlin
Unbelievably weak. Claiming ignorance, when they had consulted many experts who have said they told CBS documents were most likely phony.

This is not the end of this episode.

41 posted on 09/20/2004 9:42:13 AM PDT by I'm ALL Right! ("When the going gets weird, anchor men punt." - Dan Rather, election 2000)
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To: SmithPatterson

It's been my observation that a forced apology is NEVER sincere. But it's better than none at all.


42 posted on 09/20/2004 9:42:16 AM PDT by Old Grumpy
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To: SmithPatterson
For a just punishment, the GOP shouldn't demand that Rather be fired. Instead we should demand equal time!

SeeBS should give Rush Limbaugh a 20 year no fire contract to do Rather's job.

43 posted on 09/20/2004 9:42:37 AM PDT by DrDavid (I'd Rather Not)
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To: KenmcG414

I think they owe an apology to Killian and his family as well.


44 posted on 09/20/2004 9:42:38 AM PDT by new cruelty
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To: Paleo Conservative

They regret the memos were bad forgeries. Next time they'll be better forgeries and will be harder to debunk.

Good point!

If they had been more careful, the slime would have stuck!

SOMETHING TO REMEMBER!


45 posted on 09/20/2004 9:42:39 AM PDT by Future Useless Eater (FreedomLoving_Engineer)
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To: SmithPatterson

It boils down to these facts....

1. There is NO WAY THAT CBS WAS TRICKED OR MISLED. Too many people and facts say otherwise.

2. CBS AND RATHER CONTINUE TO LIE AND COVER UP WHO SUPPLIED THE FORGERIES.

3. CBS AND RATHER ARE PROTECTING THE SOURCE. To disclose the source would BRING DOWN RATHER, CBS AND THE KERRY CAMPAIGN.

4. IF CBS WERE GENUINE ABOUT THEIR ROTTEN, HIT PIECE, THEY WOULD APOLOGIZE TO BUSH. This whole HIT PIECE was targeted to hurt Bush. WHERE IS AN APOLOGY FROM CBS AND RATHER??? (I know, don't laugh).

CBS AND RATHER ARE COMPLICIT IN A CRIME against President Bush, in violation of public trust, in violation of FCC regulations and THEY DON'T CARE. CBS IS FINISHED AS A CREDIBLE ORGAINZATION.


46 posted on 09/20/2004 9:42:40 AM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: SmithPatterson

''Burkett originally said he obtained the documents from another former Guardsman. Now he says he got them from a different source whose connection to the documents and identity CBS News has been unable to verify to this point.''

So much for the source being ''unimpeachable''. The saga continues.

47 posted on 09/20/2004 9:43:01 AM PDT by elli1
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To: Petronski

It's only going to get worse. every time Dan opens his piehole, they step into it deeper.

They need to fire him if they hope to regain an ounce of respect; even from liberals.

I am sure he could get a comfy spot at CNN.


48 posted on 09/20/2004 9:43:11 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: SmithPatterson

There has been no apology from C BS to President Bush and those of us who support President Bush.

It is time boycott any advertiser who pays the 40 pieces of silver to any C BS NOTNEWS or Lies Instead of News program from 60 minutes to Blather's evening lies.


49 posted on 09/20/2004 9:43:19 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (When will the ABCNNBC BS lunatic libs stop lying to Americans? Answer: NEVER!)
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To: SmithPatterson
"... to protect a promise of confidentiality to the actual source."

If the source originated anywhere other than the high ranks of the DNC, I think they would have "outed" it by now. They certainly wouldn't be risking their entire reputation, and everything that implie$, by protecting some isolated whack-job.

50 posted on 09/20/2004 9:43:30 AM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham ("This house is sho' gone crazy!")
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