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Fishing Expedition
Weekly Standard ^ | 01/17/2005 | The Editors

Posted on 01/17/2005 3:27:11 PM PST by swilhelm73

THE CBS REPORT issued last week by Richard Thornburgh and Louis Boccardi left a number of interesting questions unanswered. The Internet in general and the blogosphere in particular are a means of harnessing open-source information. So we'd like to invite the blogosphere to help answer some of the questions Thornburgh and Boccardi left dangling.

(1) Who is Michael Smith? The report identifies him only as a "journalist" in Texas. The panel does not appear to have spoken with Smith and tells us nothing of his previous work. Does he or did he work for a mainstream newspaper? A local television station? Does he write for a website or run a blog? Has he been involved in politics? As the man who led Mary Mapes to Bill Burkett, Smith is someone we need to know more about. How do we reach him?

(2) Who is George Conn? When Burkett first spoke with CBS, he claimed that his friend Chief Warrant Officer George Conn was the source of the documents ostensibly damaging to President Bush, but that Conn would not confirm this if pressed. Only later did Burkett change his story. The panel attempted to contact Conn on two occasions--they left two phone messages for him--but otherwise failed to look into his identity and determine what role, if any, he played.

(3) Who is Lucy Ramirez? The last time he spoke publicly, Bill Burkett claimed that he had been contacted by a woman named Lucy Ramirez, who told him about the Texas Air National Guard memos from 1972 and arranged to get them to Burkett. Is "Lucy Ramirez," like Burkett, an activist or blogger in the Texas area who has made something of a hobby of opposing George W. Bush? Does this woman even exist?

(4) How many copies of the forged documents did CBS have? The documents CBS showed on the original 60 Minutes Wednesday segment appeared to have been crumpled, while those reproduced in the Thornburgh-Boccardi report appear uncrumpled.

(5) Aside from the phone call between Mapes and Joe Lockhart, do we have reason to believe there were any contacts between CBS News employees and the Kerry campaign? The Thornburgh-Boccardi report does not even mention the "Fortunate Son" DNC advertising campaign which was launched the day after the CBS story aired.

(6) Who, or what, prompted Ben Barnes, the former lieutenant governor of Texas who says he recommended special treatment for Bush in the TexANG, to go on camera after all these years? It's been reported that Mary Beth Cahill called Barnes to congratulate him after 60 Minutes Wednesday aired. Do we have reason to believe there were earlier contacts?

If you have any relevant information, email it to webeditor@weeklystandard.com, with the subject header "CBS."

--The Editors


TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 60minutes; 60minutesii; bias; bush; cbs; danrather; mediabias; memogate; rather; ratherbias; rathergate; tang

1 posted on 01/17/2005 3:27:15 PM PST by swilhelm73
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To: swilhelm73

Hey, maybe 60 MINUTES will look into these questions some day. You know they like to uncover corruption and scandal.


2 posted on 01/17/2005 3:29:43 PM PST by elhombrelibre (Liberalism is proof that intelligent people can ignore as much as the ignorant.)
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To: swilhelm73

I'd also like to know why everyone is calling the investigation is independent. Given that CBS has used Thornburg's law firm for quite some time before the investigation, it's a major conflict of interest.


3 posted on 01/17/2005 3:30:41 PM PST by Peach (The Cl intons pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
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To: swilhelm73

I think they are using the wrong bait. When dealing with large quanities of manure in pile it is best to spread it where it is needed most not around people, but out in the field where it does the most good.


4 posted on 01/17/2005 3:32:35 PM PST by handy old one (Never confuse the facts with the issues!!)
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To: swilhelm73

"(5) Aside from the phone call between Mapes and Joe Lockhart, do we have reason to believe there were any contacts between CBS News employees and the Kerry campaign? The Thornburgh-Boccardi report does not even mention the "Fortunate Son" DNC advertising campaign which was launched the day after the CBS story aired."

This is the part of the story that gets the least interest but would seem to be the most important. Did John Kerry's campaign conspire with CBS?


5 posted on 01/17/2005 3:36:28 PM PST by MisterRepublican ("I must go. I must be elusive.")
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To: swilhelm73
What about USA Today? Didn't they receive the same phony documents? Do they know anything about the source of the documents? Or do they have an obligation to keep silent (omerta)?
6 posted on 01/17/2005 3:43:39 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: swilhelm73

The known collusion with the Kerry campaign and the coincidence of the timing of "Fortunate Son" should have been all it took to lauch an investigation. Not by CBS, but by the FEC, various Congressional and Senatorial Committees, and the Justice Dept.


7 posted on 01/17/2005 3:44:06 PM PST by digger48
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To: MisterRepublican

Interestingly, that is an area that could lead to a criminal investigation by the FEC violations.


8 posted on 01/17/2005 3:48:34 PM PST by swilhelm73 (Like the archers of Agincourt, ... the Swiftboat Veterans took down their own haughty Frenchman.)
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To: swilhelm73

Interestingly, that is an area that could lead to a criminal investigation by the FEC...


9 posted on 01/17/2005 3:48:51 PM PST by swilhelm73 (Like the archers of Agincourt, ... the Swiftboat Veterans took down their own haughty Frenchman.)
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To: elhombrelibre

"Hey, maybe 60 MINUTES will look into these questions some day. You know they like to uncover corruption and scandal."

I can hear it now. "We called 60 minutes, but we refused to interview."


10 posted on 01/17/2005 3:52:29 PM PST by Mr.Pinette
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To: MisterRepublican

"The Thornburgh-Boccardi report does not even mention the "Fortunate Son" DNC advertising campaign which was launched the day after the CBS story aired."

I agree with the theory that the "Fortunate Son" campaign was timed with the 60 Minutes story AND the Kitty Kelly book. The Kelly book accused GWB with using cocaine - the 60 Minutes story then charged that he refused to take a flight physical. The public was supposed to conclude that the reason GWB didn't take the physical was due to cocaine use. The timing and coordination between these events was no accident.


11 posted on 01/17/2005 3:53:04 PM PST by Ben Hecks
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To: MisterRepublican
Did John Kerry's campaign conspire with CBS?
Of course. Whether there was a meeting or not, I can't be sure - but it's certain as taxes that liberal politicians take their marching orders from liberal (there's no other kind) journalists.

If the journalists don't like a subject, Democratic politicians drop it like a hot potato - because the idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters but PR.


12 posted on 01/17/2005 3:53:53 PM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters but PR.)
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To: Ben Hecks

13 posted on 01/17/2005 3:54:36 PM PST by swilhelm73 (Like the archers of Agincourt, ... the Swiftboat Veterans took down their own haughty Frenchman.)
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To: swilhelm73

Lucy Ramirez and Mary Mapes are the same person. Trust me.


14 posted on 01/17/2005 3:56:48 PM PST by Fresh Wind (Where does bandwidth go when it is wasted?)
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To: swilhelm73
...do we have reason to believe there were any contacts between CBS News employees and the Kerry campaign?

Where is the FEC in all this? What are they getting paid for? Oh that's right, they are paid to enforce the termination of the First Amendment.

15 posted on 01/17/2005 4:02:27 PM PST by groanup (http://www.fairtax.org)
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To: swilhelm73

I'm a big mystery fan and this is as good as it gets.


16 posted on 01/17/2005 4:14:26 PM PST by Mears
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To: Mears
How about some investigation into Zach Exley, eh?
Kerry hires online chief from MoveOn

Bush camp cries foul

From John Mercurio

CNN Political Unit

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- John Kerry has hired an Internet-savvy Democrat to run his presidential campaign's online communications, a move that raises new questions about the link between his campaign and the independent groups that run TV ads on his behalf.

Zach Exley, the director of special projects for the MoveOn PAC, is going to the Kerry campaign to become its director of online communications and organization. Campaign Won't Fire MoveOn Staffer Exley also worked during the Democratic presidential primary for Howard Dean, helping Dean set up his web-based organization.

Since Kerry became the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee in early March, the MoveOn PAC has spent more than $2.5 million on TV ads that attack President Bush.

But under the new campaign-finance law, those efforts cannot be coordinated with the Kerry campaign.

A MoveOn statement said Exley and the staff of all MoveOn entities have agreed that they will not be in contact through the election period to avoid the appearance of coordination, "even though federal election rules permit some forms of communication."

MoveOn has spent roughly $17 million on ads since it started running its "misleader" campaign against Bush last year.

Republicans said Exley's move reinforces their accusations that Kerry and his Democratic allies are circumventing the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law they fought so hard to enact. (GOP challenges anti-Bush ads)

"It's another example of the coordination between MoveOn.org and the Kerry campaign that is illegal under campaign finance law," a Bush campaign official said.

"The Media Fund and MoveOn are functioning as Kerry's slush fund,a shadow Democratic Party that's illegally using soft dollars."

MoveOn became the subject of controversy early this year when it posted two ads on its Web site that compared Bush to Adolf Hitler. The ads were submitted to the group as part of a contest to produce anti-Bush commercials, and Republican Chairman Ed Gillespie said Exley dismissed Republican complaints about them with a barnyard expletive.

"In addition to the obvious questions his hiring raises about further illegal coordination between the Kerry campaign and MoveOn.org, you have to wonder what hiring someone who considers Hitler comparisons to be legitimate political discourse says about the Kerry campaign," Gillespie said in a statement issued Wednesday.

Find this article at:

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/04/07/kerry.exley


Campaign Won't Fire MoveOn Staffer

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1196779/posts

NewsMax .com ^ | 8/22/04 | Carl Limbacher

The Kerry campaign is gloating this weekend over the resignation of Bush Cheney volunteer, former Vietnam War POW Ken Cordier, who's featured in the latest Swiftboat ad - saying it proves illegal coordination between the Swiftvets' 527 group and the official Bush campaign.

But Kerry has no plans to fire Zach Exley, a key campaign staffer who served as the organizing director for MoveOn.org throughout the presidential primaries. What's more, MoveOn, whose sole mission is to defeat President Bush in November, maintains that Exley is allowed to "communicate" with the 527 group even as he works for the Democratic nominee.

Web Of Connections

17 posted on 01/17/2005 4:43:10 PM PST by JesseJane (KERRY: I have had conversations with leaders, yes, recently.That's not your business, it's mine.)
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To: swilhelm73
Let's not drop the ball on this invitation.

Can we keep this BTTP so's we can get all possible Freepers to see this?

This is a 'paradigm' invitation - It was here that the fraud was uncovered and it brought FR and Bloggers into the open...The dummies worst nightmare.

Now if y'all can grab this ball and run with it, it may be that horseshoe nail that can win the war.

We have seen that the enemy, and CBS is in the vanguard - as demonstrated with the diatribe by Kennedy in a solo rant - is not going to even slow down, now that they have gotten past the wrist slap from the "investigation."

But the whitewash report still has enough material in it to run with, regarding the felony of trying to take down a sitting president in the midst of an election - with documents they knew were fraudulent, with contact and sharing information with the sKerry campaign, etc.

Now there's names to be tracked down...etc.

At the same time, we must bombard our reps in DC and let them know we have not forgotten, we do not expect this to be pushed aside, we expect a congressional hearing, we expect a grand jury investigation. etc.

We have to make a lot of noise.

It's time we pubs stopped just shrugging and walking away. That makes us just as guilty because that is what emboldens the dummies, year after year, to commit such blatant, in-your-face acts, ever more illegal.

They must be brought to the mat, pay individually for their acts, or they will only continue to take down our people, one by one, like shooting fish in a barrel.

(an aside: sometimes I wonder why our repub. congressmen/women, Senators, etc, are such wimps when it comes to holding the dummies feet to the fire. I wonder, sometimes, about all those individual files that Hilliary, illegally (another ho hum, oh well, move on,) had from the FBI at (in boxes at the White House) ---did she gather information that would serve as blackmail on many of our reps? What else would she want them for? Is this what keeps so many of our repub reps from standing ground and causes them to turn away from outrageous and illegal doings on the other side? Just wonder, sometimes)

18 posted on 01/17/2005 10:35:02 PM PST by maine-iac7 (...but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." Lincoln)
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To: swilhelm73

Powerline Blog thread about the Weekly Standard story here:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1323088/posts?page=1


19 posted on 01/18/2005 7:08:03 AM PST by CedarDave (This tagline space for rent)
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To: maine-iac7

See post #19.


20 posted on 01/18/2005 7:10:23 AM PST by CedarDave (This tagline space for rent)
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To: CedarDave

Thanks for the ping


21 posted on 01/18/2005 11:25:40 AM PST by swilhelm73 (Like the archers of Agincourt, ... the Swiftboat Veterans took down their own haughty Frenchman.)
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To: swilhelm73
REGARDING BURKETT: Here's a list of old posts that might provide some leads.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1221507/posts?page=169

-----------------------------------------------------------

"Burkett is not the "unimpeachable source". The real one will be found out soon. "

I suspect that Glenn Smith, the founder of Texans for Truth is the source of the memos. He gave them to Burkett, or showed him copies of other memos which Burkett "reconstituted" etc...

Why Glenn Smith you ask:

1. He is the point man for the Kerry campaign 527s on the issue of Bush's National Guard service. It was his responsibility to get something like these memos out into the news stream.

2. Glenn Smith had plausible credibility as an original source. He was a political operative of Gov. Ann Smith when Bush ran against her. It was his job then to dig up dirt on Bush. Since he worked for the Gov it would have been no problem for him to slither on down to the National Guard and look through their records for anything that could be used against Bush. In fact he would be derelict if he hadn't.

3. Glenn Smith could plausibly convince Burkett that he, Glenn Smith, couldn't be the one that passed on the memos because that would link the 527s (and Soros) to the Kerry Campaign.

4. Glenn Smith, a personal friend of Dan Rather's daughter, campaign manager of last Democrat Tex Governor candidate, former Houston Chronicle reporter etc... was "unimpeachable" in Dan Rather's eyes.

5. Glenn Smith is someone that CBS would have to protect because the disclosure of his identity and connections with the Kerry campaign, MoveOn, and Rathers would bring down the whole house of cads. (no sp)

157 posted on 09/20/2004 12:29:58 PM PDT by bayourod

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To: bayourod

4. Glenn Smith, a personal friend of Dan Rather's daughter[Robin], campaign manager of last Democrat Tex Governor candidate, former Houston Chronicle reporter etc... was "unimpeachable" in Dan Rather's eyes.

You've hit a key number here on the combination lock that could pop the Rathergate secret vault wide open.

Dan Rather flew to Texas last Saturday to help coach his CBS crew on how to lie for effect.

But Dan was also there in Texas to make sure his daughter, Robin--who is deeply enmeshed in the Travis County Forgery Affair--is kept completely out of the scandal as CBS today admits guilt in foisting Dan's forgery on the American public.

The dredging-net will now widen out and begin to fill with a growing Rogue's Gallery of perps . Rather will do everything in his power to keep his daughter's role in this criminal activity from being splashed across the media.

Here's some interesting detail on Robin Rather's heavy foot in Texas Democratic politics--and why Dan has serious family interests in helping out the DNC, the Kerry Campaign and, especially Ben Barnes to bring down President Bush with bogus documents out of Texas.

----------------------------------------------

Dan Rather's obligation

Nor did we learn about Dan Rather’s personal fund raising efforts on behalf of the Travis County Democratic Party, where Ben Barnes sits on the Finance Council. Rather raised $20,000 for the organization on March 21, 2001, at an event at which his daughter Robin and Ben Barnes were co-sponsors.

Rather has extensive personal ties to Travis county: he owns a home in the Austin area, and his daughter Robin, an environmentalist and marketing executive, is said to have considered running for mayor of Austin as a Democrat. Rather has now said that he attended the fundraiser as a favor to his daughter, but he told Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post on April 4, 2001 that he agreed to appear “at the invitation of an old friend, Austin City Council member Will Wynn.” Rather’s appearance at a Democratic Party fundraiser was contrary to the official policies of CBS and most of the MSM.

Now, three years later, Rather interviewed the same fellow without disclosing the reporter’s previous involvement in raising money for the Democratic Party of Travis County, or his other, even larger, conflict of interest. If Robin Rather wants to have a future in Democratic politics in Austin, she needs the support of Ben Barnes and the other movers and shakers among Travis County Democrats, including those on the Finance Council.

Jack Risko

September 10, 2004

--------------------------------------------------------

Read Risko's whole article for some good surgical work on what lies behind the scene down there in Travis County. Looks like Dan's forged documents are not only a felony attack on a sitting President but are being used as levers to elevate his daughter, Robin, into a power position as Austin's future Mayor.

22 posted on 01/19/2005 7:17:46 AM PST by JesseJane (KERRY: I have had conversations with leaders, yes, recently.That's not your business, it's mine.)
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