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Rathergate's dangling threads [Calling All Potential "BUCKHEADS"!]
Powerline ^ | Jan. 18, 2005 | Scott W. Johnson

Posted on 01/18/2005 6:49:32 AM PST by conservativecorner

The editors of the Weekly Standard have issued a call to the blogosphere for help in tying up a few of Rathergate's many dangling threads: "Fishing expedition." Here they are:

(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."

HINDROCKET adds a few thoughts:

1) We're pretty sure that Michael Smith and George Conn exist, but if anyone ever finds "Lucy Ramirez," I'll be extremely surprised.

2) We know from the Thornburgh report that Mapes's famous phone call with Joe Lockhart was not her only contact with the Kerry campaign. The report says that Chad Clanton, another Kerry campaign staffer, told the panel that he had several conversations with Mapes, in which she told him about the story she was working on and asked whether the Kerry campaign could contribute anything to it. We also know that Mapes got Clanton's phone number from her husband, a newspaper reporter in Texas, who interviewed Clanton for a story on...you guessed it...the Swift Boat Vets.

3) It was a Power Line reader who first identified the "Robert Strong" who was cited (ludicrously, it turned out) as having authenticated the 60 Minutes documents. We are hopeful that our readers may be able to help solve the remaining riddles. If you do send info to the Weekly Standard, please copy us at powerlinefeedback@gmail.com.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 60minutes; 60minutesii; bias; bush; cbs; cbsfraud; danrather; fraud; mediabias; memogate; rather; ratherbias; rathergate; tang

1 posted on 01/18/2005 6:49:33 AM PST by conservativecorner
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To: conservativecorner

Just have to love it -- time for the blogs and FR to go after CBS.


2 posted on 01/18/2005 6:57:12 AM PST by CedarDave (This tagline space for rent)
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To: CedarDave
cBS thought they could get away with a whitewash, but it ain't gonna happen. What did you know Dan, and when did you know it? How ironic that Dan and cBS are guilty of the very thing that made Dan famous. WATERGATE! There is a God, and he has a sense of humor.
3 posted on 01/18/2005 7:01:48 AM PST by conservativecorner
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To: conservativecorner

Previous FR thread with the Weekly Standard story here (but more is better in this case):

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1322746/posts


4 posted on 01/18/2005 7:04:20 AM PST by CedarDave (This tagline space for rent)
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To: conservativecorner
(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?

My prediction:
Lucy Ramirez = Sid Blumenthal


5 posted on 01/18/2005 7:08:47 AM PST by IncPen (Beware the fury of a patient man.)
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To: conservativecorner

The only interesting Michael Smith I found in Texas, was a Charles Michael Smith Convicted of Cyber crime in 2002, sentenced to 120 months fed time.


6 posted on 01/18/2005 7:17:24 AM PST by marty60
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To: IncPen

Chad Clanton again. He's the guy who threatened Sinclair Broadcasting over their Swift Boat tape airing. I believe he's from Texas. He could well be one of the Kerry connections between Robin Rather and the rest of the Democrat stooges.


7 posted on 01/18/2005 7:17:59 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: conservativecorner

My two-bits (0.25 $US) is up for hindrocket to claim if he'll take a bet. The bet? That Conn is a genuine human being, and not just a phonied up DoD record. I say not a man born of woman.


8 posted on 01/18/2005 7:21:40 AM PST by bvw
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

The Weekly Standard has no questions about Max Cleland's involvement? I hope we don't find out down the road that even TWS will protect former senators.


9 posted on 01/18/2005 7:22:25 AM PST by YaYa123 (@No Fan Of Max Cleland.com)
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To: conservativecorner
Haha! This is like dropping an ant farm in Dan Rather's pants. This is a story that would traditionally be easily swept away by the media into the dustbin of history. There is obvious malfeasance, and numerous angles to pursue, but especially with Rather leaving in a few months and the election over, the press would rather 'move on'.

The ultimate question, 'was Rather the duper or the dupee' takes a little more digging. Like Scott Peterson and OJ Simpson, Rather's behavior pattern suggests he is the perp, not a victim.

10 posted on 01/18/2005 7:22:31 AM PST by Monti Cello
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To: IncPen

I'm trying to picture him in drag. LOL!!


11 posted on 01/18/2005 7:26:19 AM PST by conservativecorner
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To: conservativecorner

BUMP!!

I'd like to know precisely what role, if any, Robin Rather played in the scandal.


12 posted on 01/18/2005 7:27:07 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: conservativecorner

Goggled up the following liberal spew:

http://www.mindspace.org/liberation-news-service/archives/000537.html

It says that Conn is a civilian employee of the U.S. Army in Germany.


13 posted on 01/18/2005 7:33:50 AM PST by pepperdog
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To: CedarDave

The MOST important thing for the bloggers is to recruit an army of experts to examine and declare, once and for all that the memos are FAKES. This is the pathway to a Federal investigation of forgery of government documents. This is the keystone to destroying the biased,lib CBS and all their MSM accomplices.


14 posted on 01/18/2005 7:34:08 AM PST by Uncle George
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To: conservativecorner

We need to find an expert in tracking copies. All copiers leave tracks! For example, if the original were copied at Kinkos, and that copier had dots (dirt specs) on the glass or smudges, that would carry onto the next copy etc. It might be a way to find out where the documents originated. Any Ex-Xeriods(Xerox copier reps) out there?


15 posted on 01/18/2005 7:57:18 AM PST by mdcen (Pondering!)
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To: conservativecorner

Lucy Ramirez is Dan Rather's daughter. We need to do some digging on Ms. Rather's schedule around this time.


16 posted on 01/18/2005 7:59:54 AM PST by dannyboy72 (How long will you hold onto the rope to save the life of a liberal?)
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To: conservativecorner
Rumor is that Dan Rather is going to be let go via a back door firing. He is leaving his anchor chair and staying on at Sixty Minutes Wednesday. But scuttlebutt says that the network will be canceling that show. The original Sixty Minutes, on Sunday nights, will not take Rather back. Hence, the network gets rid of him without having to officially fire him. Sweet.
17 posted on 01/18/2005 8:28:23 AM PST by redheadtoo
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To: dannyboy72
I have always wondered if Burkett was not set up by the Kerry campaign or cBS news.

They know they have a nut case on their hands that will do everything in his power to destroy Bush. They then forge the documents and give them to Burkett and Burkett believes they are real. Burkett then becomes the willing stooge in getting the documents to cBS News. Whoever did the forgery knew it would be discovered but had no idea the speed of discovery. They were hoping to sway the election before it was discovered. (Free Republic at its best!)

The question is who forged the documents.

1. Mappes ????
2. A Kerry staffer ????
3. Burkett himself ????
4. Ben Barnes or an underling of his ???
5. Rather's daughter ???

When and if Burkett is prosecuted follow the money. If he gets high profile expensive lawyers we must find out who is footing the bill and the story will be solved. If he is allowed to go down alone he did it alone.

CBS has failed the Absence of Malice test by a wide margin. They are libel in a suit by President Bust and I hope he goes after them. Burkett, if the perpetrator, has committed multiple felonious criminal acts that violate Texas law and Federal Law including interstate wire fraud. He is in deep kimshee.
18 posted on 01/18/2005 8:30:28 AM PST by cpdiii (Oil Field Trash, Pilot, Pharmacist. (Oil Field Trash was the most fun.))
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To: redheadtoo

The whole place needs a house cleaning.


19 posted on 01/18/2005 8:31:30 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: pepperdog

We didn't call him George "The Conn Man" for the fun of it. When he was still in the TX Army National Guard, he tried to use his rank more often than not to get his way.


20 posted on 01/18/2005 8:33:31 AM PST by Arrowhead1952 (Jan. 20, 2005 - - - - The biggest nightmare for the MSM and DU.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
"The whole place needs a house cleaning."

AND de-lousing AND sterilizing. Aw h&ll, where's my bulldozer?

21 posted on 01/18/2005 8:39:32 AM PST by Miss Behave (Beloved daughter of Miss Creant, super sister of danged Miss Ology, and proud mother of Miss Hap.)
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To: conservativecorner

It's very obvious that the "investigation" gives us more
questions than answers as noted in numerous articles such
as the W.Standard. How can it be suggested that CBS carelessly rushed to do the program when Mapes worked on
the Bush/National Guard story for FIVE years? It has come
out that Thornburgh even had a legal conflict of interest.
What about Burkett's history of mental illness? As noted
in many postings, who are these other mysterious characters? It's like seeing Elvis appearances! There was
a clear connection with the Kerry campaign that was
obviously intended to influence an election with fraudulent
documents.ABOVE ALL, precisely how and when and from whom
did the forged documents emerge? This concluusion is like a police report that ends by saying we know there was a bank robbery but we aren't sure of how, when, or by whom.


22 posted on 01/18/2005 8:42:54 AM PST by T.L.Sink (stopew)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
The whole place needs a house cleaning.

True, but for now I think we should just enjoy Rather's downfall.
23 posted on 01/18/2005 8:46:19 AM PST by redheadtoo
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To: pepperdog

Just a guess, but "Michael Smith" may be "David Michael Smith" who is a rather noted lefty professor down at a community college in Texas who fancies himself a "writer" for all the expected lefty groups (e.g. Indymedia, socialist workers party, palestine watch, etc) A simple google of "David Michael Smith and Texas" brings up a ton of hits for his "writings." From his writings, and group associations, it is clear he would have a real axe to grind against GWB and would no doubt be the type who would love to think he was playing "journalist/source" with Mapes. Anyway, here is a link to one google result page on him.
<a href="http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=%22David+Michael+Smith%22+Texas&btnG=Search.html"


24 posted on 01/18/2005 9:02:35 AM PST by Midwestguy
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To: conservativecorner

"(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? "

Is it plausible that Burkett simply used the initials of a male "source" (LR) and conjure up a female by the name of Lucy Ramirez?


25 posted on 01/18/2005 9:47:08 AM PST by loveliberty2
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To: conservativecorner

This reads like a John Grisham novel, only less believeable.
Thank God He's on the throne.


26 posted on 01/18/2005 9:48:08 AM PST by GrannyAnnie (as right as I can be)
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To: conservativecorner

I remember when this story first came up I googled for a Lucy Ramirez in Texas. There was one that came up, a hospital administrator from near the Mexican border. That's kind of far from Burkett and his crew, and I found nothing political tied to her.

So...my guess is "Lucy Ramirez" is completely made up. I would go a bit farther and state that someone in Burkett's little far left clique made up the documents and he/she and Burkett both knew they were fakes. OTOH, I am certain they would claim the documents were "fake but accurate".

I would further postulate both Mapes and Rather knew these were fakes, as they had been trying to dig up dirt for 5 years on this story with no luck, and all the experts they hired to verify these documents save one (the signature guy) questioned them immediately...


27 posted on 01/18/2005 11:33:05 AM PST by swilhelm73 (Like the archers of Agincourt, ... the Swiftboat Veterans took down their own haughty Frenchman.)
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To: swilhelm73

KINKO'S CREW

One conspiracy theory about these documents was that Karl Rove concocted them and tricked Dan Rather into taking them so that the documents would be proved forgeries and the information in them discredited. Even Maurene Dowd sniggered up her sleeve about this one. This conspiracy theory of Karl Rove's modus-operendi was first put forward a few years ago by a leftist writer/publisher named Sander Hicks.

PLEASE FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS! We are now entering the Twilight Zone of "progressive" political conspiracy theory.

Hicks published the book "Fortunate Son" which makes the allegation that Bush was arrested for cocaine but got off with community service because his father had political connections.

The author, JH Hatfield was a career criminal (financial frauds, solicitation of capital murder) so St.Martin's Press dropped the book and Hicks picked it up and published it for his Softskull Press). Hicks and Hatfield were on 60 Minutes and Leslie Stahl made fools of them.

While he was out of prison, Hatfield wrote biographies about famous actors and a study of the TV show "The X Files." The cocaine allegation was stuck on to the end of the book as if it were an afterthought to get people to buy his book instead of one published by a Dallas News writer that was coming out at the same time.

If you do a google search for Sander Hicks and add some of the personalities allegedly associated with this National guard/Bush story (Burkett, Burke, Gough, Rove) about the possibly forged documents, you will get some interesting hits. Read on and I will paste some in this text.

Sander Hicks has been interested in Bush's National Guard history for a long time. He has posted what purports to be Guard Documents on his site http://www.sanderhicks.com

Hicks was also trying to write a book about Karl Rove. Hicks hates Bush and thinks Karl Rove is an evil genius. In the past, when Hicks did something stupid, he blamed his stupidity on Rove's genius. This is his personal conspiracy theory to account for the fact that he is a real idiot.

When Hicks' source for the cocaine allegation (Hatfield) turned out to be a criminal, Hicks informed the whole world that Hatfield got his story about the cocaine from Karl Rove. Supposedly, Rove planned that when the story about the cocaine surfaced via a criminal, the story would be discredited. Of course, why wouldn't Hatfield have wondered why Karl Rove would tell him something so damaging about Bush?

Hicks talked to this guy named Gough
http://sanderhicks.com/gough.html about Bush's records supposedly being thrown out by Bush operatives. So he knows about all that. The article mentions this guy Bartlett, whom most suspect of authoring these documents and xeroxing them at a Kinko's near his Texas home.

However, I read that Hicks actually worked in a Kinkos in NYC and used their xerox machines to self-publish books when he was a micro-publisher. Hicks later moved to Taos, New Mexico and started a book about Karl Rove. Or was it Karl Marx? Well, anyway...

Sander Hicks and Betsy Martinez work for Pax Christi in Taos http://www.paxchristinewmexico.org/Taos/

Hicks and Hatfield got sued for publishing Hatfield's book, not because they slandered Bush (you can't be sued for slandering a politician), but because they claimed that Hatfield's boss had put Hatfield up to murdering another employee. [Like this wasn't all investigated and rejected by the FEDS when Hatfield was tried for solicitation of capital murder "al la Fallujah" with a car bomb in the downtown Dallas Cotton Exchange.] The facts are that Hatfield's boss passed a lie detector test and Hatfield refused to be fluttered.

A guy named Mike Burke wrote some puff-pieces about the misadventures of Sander Hicks and expanded on the conspiracy theory about how Karl Rove supposedly gave the writer/bomber JH Hatfield the Bush-cocaine story so that nobody would believe it because Hatfield had a "chequered past" as an assassin. Karl Rove, according to the story, went fishing in a rowboat with a car-bomber and told him that Bush used cocaine.

Would you go out in a rowboat with a car-bomber? Probably not unless you were as dumb as Fredo Corleon. But I bet that there are some Fredos that Karl Rove would like to "take out" in a boat!

Personally, I think that Hatfield put the cocaine "bombshell" in his cut-and-paste-epic "Fortunate Son" as an afterthought so he would sell more Bush books than the other guys. The cocaine "bombshell" was pasted in at the end of the book.

This seems like a rush job to me. If I really had a terrific scoop like that, it wouldn't be inserted at the end. It would be my centerpiece. Hatfield was just in a rush to beat out some other scribbler, so he slapped this lie on quick and got it into the printer.

Sander Hicks' cheerleader Mike Burke is currently conceeding that the current National Guard document may be a fraud, but he is claiming that it was a deliberately bad fraud that was supposed to be discovered and thus discredit the information in the document.

Burke explains that this what happened once before to Hatfield and his publisher Hicks regarding the Bush-cocaine allegation. I wonder if there is a fish story to go with this fable? Did Rove bait his hook in a rowboat on the Rio Grande?

What is kind of odd is that nothing about this National Guard document is on Hicks' "progressive" website. He has long been writing lurid accounts about Bush's National Guard years and posting documents on his site purportedly from the National Guards. Why is he laying low on this? Not his style at all. See www.sanderhicks.com

Mike Burke wrote these articles linked below. Both mention Hicks' and Hatfield's alleged "victimization" by the evil genius Karl Rove and suggest that Karl Rove is behind these documents. [Hatfield committed suicide a while ago because he was about to be rearrested for computer fraud and lose his parole for embezzling federal money from his company and soliciting the murder of the supervisor who found out. So he's off the hook.]

Compare them both.
http://www.pacifica.org/programs/dn/030811.html
http://idaho.indymedia.org/news/2004/09/11430.php

I am no expert on documents, but if I were trying to forge something old, I would use old ink, old paper and an old typewriter. Actually, I would use a professional forger. If these documents are forgeries, the forger is certainly not a professional forger. He is an idiot. Being a professional forger requires long years of careful application, dicipline and patience. Whoever did this forgery was just a moron who can't plan ahead at all and never heard of document forensics.

Karl Rove, the ultimate scapegoat for screw-ups is again being blamed for making bad forgeries in order to discredit the "true" information. How does he ever do it?

In reality, the Kinko forgery is just a fraud by some idiot who word-processed his private political fantasy and then xeroxed it over and over at a Kinkos. Now the flimsy forgery has emerged, phoenixlike, as a "brilliant" Karl Rove conspiracy. I guess the transformation somehow makes the mendacious morons brilliant operatives instead of useful idiots.


28 posted on 01/18/2005 5:07:07 PM PST by Snapple
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To: Snapple

I wonder though if the forger(s) just didn't expect CBS to put the docs up on their website or for the internet community to examine them in depth immediately.

If we had been a few days slower, every night on the news the MSM would be calling for Bush to answer all the AWOL/cocaine/etc charges. Once that ball got rolling, there would have been alot more resistance to questions about the authenticity of the documents themselves. And remember, Bush himself would have no special notion of exactly what was in these personal memos making answering the charges a potential minefield...

My guess is there were other documents prepared to trap Bush whatever he may have publicly stated on the first round of forgeries.


29 posted on 01/18/2005 5:48:08 PM PST by swilhelm73 (Like the archers of Agincourt, ... the Swiftboat Veterans took down their own haughty Frenchman.)
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To: Snapple

In post 28, please correct Bartlett to read Burkett.


30 posted on 01/18/2005 6:16:18 PM PST by Snapple
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To: Snapple

Sander Hicks is working on a biography of Karl Rove
http://www.corporatemofo.com/stories/030303hornsandhalos.htm


31 posted on 01/18/2005 6:55:14 PM PST by Snapple
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